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The Jonny-Cake Papers 


The Jonny-Cake Papers of 
"Shepherd Tom" 

Together with 





With a Biographical Sketch and Notes by 

Rowland Gibson Hazard 

Illustrated by Rudolph Ruzicka ^ 


Printed for the Subscribers 







CI.A4.1~4 5 4 1^( 


































NOTES 391 


INDEX 4 1 3 


Civ ] 



Tliomas Robinson Hazard vii 

Benny Rodman's Horsewhip 2 

Run-at Corv 13 

Gilbert Stuart Birthplace 17 

French House Portico, Kingston 31 

Phillis'' Cooking Irons 39 

Dockray House 64 

Rowland Robinson House 9 1 

French House, Kingston 137 

The Cat Inspector 139 

Village Street, Kingston 140 

Joe RunneWs Tavern, Kingston 152 

Joe RunneWs Stoop, Kingston 168 

Phillis 197 

Sylvia Tory 241 

Oliver Hazard Perry 25 6 

Title: Home fs Nest Company 285 

Potters Cove 300 

Hazard Castle, Narragansett Pier 304 

: v ] 


Stairway, Rowland Robinson House 322 

Clipboard, Robinson House 336 

Stout Jeffrey Hazard's Stone 
A Map of Old Narragansett 

[ vi ] 


Biographical Sketch 

THOMAS Robinson Hazard,* of the 
seventh generation of Hazards in Rhode 
Island, Shepherd Tom for short, was born on the 
3d of January, 1797, in the house of his grand- 
father," College Tom," standing then on the east 
slope of Tower Hill inNarragansett.The site can 
still be traced, but hardly one stone of the foun- 
dation remains upon another. He died in New 
York, March 26, 1 886. 

During his long life of more than eighty-nine 
years, he was a prolific writer, and yet literature 
was not his profession. He was by choice a shep- 
herd, not only of sheep, but a shepherd of men. 
Of a generous, sympathetic nature, he was quick 
to espouse the cause of the weak and downtrod- 
den. He truly loved his neighbor as himself, and 
misfortune was ever the key to his heart. Thor- 
oughly democratic in every fibre, he only re- 
quired to be convinced of the justice of a cause, 
to become its vigorous supporter. For the weak 
and defenseless he would go to any length. He 
was often called Quixotic, and he was doubtless 

* Thomas Robinson Hazard 7 (son of Rowland 6 , Thomas 5 , Robert 4 , 
Thomas 3 , Robert 2 , Thomas 1 ). 


somewhat hasty at times ; especially is this true 
of his more youthful jousts. 

In his riper manhood, his attention was called to 
the conditions of the insane poor, and in a report 
upon that subject made to the legislature in 1 85 1 , 
he forcibly depicted the desperate case of the poor 
in the State of Rhode Island. He supplemented 
by personal visits a searching series of questions 
addressed to all the keepers of the poor in the 
state, and described what he saw in vivid terms. 
The considerable sensation aroused resulted in a 
movement to improve the condition of the poor 
throughout the state, wherever found. Upon this 
report depends much of the serious consideration 
which his fellow citizens have always accorded 
to the memory of Shepherd Tom. 

Descended from " a self-willed race of inde- 
pendent thinkers," he was himself a type speci- 
men of the Snip Breed.* 

Mr. Hazard made a deep impression on most 
people who met him, and he was my favorite 
among my granduncles. In person he favored 
the men of his race. Six feet in his stocking feet, 
heavily built, but not portly, he moved quietly, as 
is the wont of very strong men. While not hand- 
some, he was distinguished-looking, with thick, 

*See Recollections of Olden Times, by Thomas R. Hazard, page 107. 
[ Viii ] 


close, curly, nut-brown hair of a silky fineness. 
Blue eyes, which pity softened and the recital 
of the wrongs of others made steely hard, were 
set deep under overhanging brows. As a man of 
eighty, he wore a beard, much grizzled, and I 
remember well his chuckling laugh, constrained, 
almost throttled, it seemed, by a set of false teeth 
which he feared to lose by too hearty abandon. 
Yet it was a laugh full of real humor, and I have 
often seen him forced to pause in the middle of 
an amusing situation, shaking with laughter and 
speechless, so keen was his enjoyment of the 
picture conjured up by a memory as vivid as it 
was accurate. His hands, though large and bony, 
were full of character, and his dry palm and fin- 
gers had that silky texture usually found only in 
the very young and the old. One could easily 
imagine such hands tenderly caring for the stray 
lambs of his flock. 

His manner of speech was somewhat blurred ; 
it was not always easy to understand him, but no 
doubt this was more noticeable as an old man, 
on account of the loose set of teeth already men- 
tioned. A story occurs to me, however, which 
shows that Thomas, as well as his brothers, Isaac 
and Rowland, had a fashion of rapid, indistinct 
speech. A stranger, noticing the three tall, fine- 
[ ix ] 


looking young men, absorbed in debating a busi- 
ness matter, asked, "What language are they 

He was remarkably self-controlled, except in 
argument, when I used to fear that personal vio- 
lence might result. But under personal affliction, 
and I have often seen him so, he was not only 
wonderfully brave, but had a forced cheerful- 
ness of manner, most pathetic to see, for no one 
could doubt a heart so tender must be bleeding. 
Thus, as an old man, hale and hearty, he stands 
for the chivalrous, for the clean mind, the pure 
heart, prompt to denounce evil, ready to acclaim 
the good, fonder, however, of denunciation. 

It seems hardly in character that one who 
could do such serious work as that for the poor 
and insane should also maintain in New York a 
Stanhope gig, a two-wheeled affair, for his per- 
sonal use when visiting that city. He was wont to 
stop at Bunker's Hotel, then a fashionable resort 
in Rector Street, and his occasional visits are 
remembered by a few as those of a bright and 
active-minded man. His voyage to England and 
the continental countries, about 1 831 , was seldom 
spoken of by himself, although Americans who 
crossed the ocean in the ships of that day were 
few in number, and showed some enterprise. 


He was a master hand at controversy, as is 
attested by a long list of pamphlets issued by 
him in self-defense or to attack others. His most 
famous case excited intense feeling in the state, 
and led to impeachment proceedings against a 
Chief Justice. He was always a champion of those 
whom he considered in need of his assistance. 

He was bred in the strictest school of the 
Quakers' doctrine, and himself used the plain 
language so long as he lived. And yet he quotes 
three articles of faith taught "in nearly every 
well-ordered family in Narragansett " when he 
was a child : First, that ye love one another and 
your neighbor as yourselves. Second, that ye 
hate the Puritans of Massachusetts with a perfect 
hatred. Third, that ye hold the Presbyterians of 
Connecticut in like contempt. His early school- 
ing was supplemented by three years ( August, 
1 808-October 1 6, 1 8 1 1 ) at Westtown school near 
Philadelphia, then as now under Quaker control. 

There has recently come into my hands a 
little chapbook which doubtless played its part in 
my Uncle Tom's early education. *The book is 
full of maxims of the sort which he practiced all 

*"The Moral Instructor," prepared by John Pickburn, master of 
the grammar school in Wainfleet, seventh edition, published in Boston 
in 1805, is one of those collections of moral maxims and easy lessons 
for children, intended to make reading as pleasant and easy as possible. 



his life. His standards were high; and he was 
scrupulously truthful in all important matters. 
One of the maxims in this chapbook reads: 
" There are lying looks as well as lying words, 
and even a lying silence." This gem, condensed 
from " Mrs. Opie on Lying," would have ap- 
pealed to him strongly. 

At fifteen he left school and returned to Nar- 
ragansett, where he soon became deeply inter- 
ested in sheep. By strenuous efforts he managed 
to bring a part of his flock through the heavy 
snows of the severe winters, but there is no hint 
in his memoirs that he ever led the piping 
shepherd's life of indolence. In fact, there was 
not a lazy bone in him. He seems to have been 
full of vigor, energetic beyond the ordinary. 

In one of Shepherd Tom's pamphlets, entitled 
"Cruelty to Dumb Animals," written in 1875, 
he blames himself with characteristic frankness, 
— "being engaged in an arduous branch of busi- 
ness, and possessed of a strong constitution, 
as well as an ardent energetic and hasty tem- 
perament myself, I was too apt to disregard 
the physical weaknesses and inability of others, 
whether man or beast." 

Not long after his return to his father's house, 
he began to assist in the primitive manufactur- 

n xii : 


ing of that early day. The woolen mills at Peace 
Dale had been at work for ten years when our 
Thomas Hazard left his schooling, and the part 
he was given was to ride forth to leave rolls of 
carded wool with spinners who spun on hand 
wheels in their own houses. At the same time he 
took the yarn spun since his last visit, carrying it 
upon his pommel, to be woven in the mill. In this 
way he came to know the whole countryside, 
as well as all the people in it ; his minute know- 
ledge of tradition and of the affairs of his neigh- 
bors shows clearly in his later literary years. 

In 1821 he bought ten acres of land in Rocky 
Brook from Abigail Rodman, widow of Robert 
Rodman, and, in the same year, he also bought 
of Freeman P. Watson the right to erect a dam 
and flow another ten acres. That same year 
he built the dam and the wooden mill to house 
one set of woolen machinery. In 1822 he bought 
from his father, Rowland Hazard, seventy acres 
adjoining his previous purchase from Abigail - 
Rodman. At the end of seventeen years he was 
able to retire from business, and did so. 

Of the one absorbing romance in his life, his 
courtship and marriage of the famous beauty, 
Frances Minturn, in 1838; of his business suc- 
cesses, through which he gained a modest com- 

C xiii 3 


petence at an early age ( 43 ) ; of his settlement 
at the beautiful Vaucluse near Newport; of his 
life there, and the death of his adored wife and 
five beautiful daughters, who followed each 
other in swift succession, slight record remains. 

With his marriage began his career of public 
service. These sixteen years of married life must 
have been his happiest years. As the children 
grew up at Vaucluse, it was the usual thing for 
Shepherd Tom to drive in to Meeting on First 
Days, whither his handsome span of buckskin 
horses used to convey the delightful daughters. 
Afterwards girl friends would be taken back to 
Vaucluse for the night, a treat fondly remem- 
bered by some still living. 

The death of Shepherd Tom's wife was the 
pivotal event in his life. It was a blow so cruel 
and crushing, and it fell upon a nature so gentle 
and loving, that for years it changed his whole 
outlook. His mental vision became suddenly 

Personally, I saw much of my uncle's grief, 
for I attended the last rites of at least three of 
my cousins, and helped to lay them in the family 
burial ground on the farm at Vaucluse, after the 
old Rhode Island custom. There was a grim 
pathos about these occasions which impressed 

C xiv ] 


me mightily. Uncle Thomas would often chide 
those who were in open grief, if he noticed red 
eyes or swollen, by saying something of that 
happy state to which death had called his child, 
and urging us to be more cheerful. So he sought 
to hide his own grief. So clear was his belief in 
the future life that it is quite possible he really 
felt fewer pangs than the ordinary selfish nature, 
which grieves for the loss of those who minister 
to us. His was surely an unselfish soul. 

So strong was his dread of cant, that he never, 
so far as I can remember, had any clergy in at- 
tendance, but chose rather to have a prayer put 
up by one of his own blood. Neither did he ever 
permit a paid undertaker to be in charge. 

He turned to Spiritualism for comfort when 
his wife died, and records his devotion to that 
cult, saying that he "has no higher ambition 
than that his name should be handed down to 
the coming generations"* as a worker in the 
cause of Spiritualism. 

To this sore and wounded soul came the 
plundering host of so-called "Spirit mediums," 
whose liberal patron he became. His advocacy 
of this cult was thoroughly sincere, as one would 
expect. Whatever he did, he did with all his 

* Recollections of Olden Times, page 192. 

i xv a 


might. His writings enumerate the names of all 
the well-known and many obscure mediums of 
his time. He quarreled on the subject with George 
William Curtis. He believed in Henry Slade and 
his magic slate writing, Mrs. Cushman, one Gor- 
don, Charles H. Foster, Mrs. Seaver,Mrs. Mary 
Andrews of Moravia, — but why record the 
names long since forgotten? He honored them 
all as honest men and women. He could not 
think them other than himself. Once, while vexed 
at my persistent doubt, he handed me one-half 
of a stage moustache, such as actors often use, 
saying he had it from the spirit of an Indian who 
"materialized "for him at a recent "seance." He 
had told this Indian spirit that he never had 
seen him wear a moustache before ; on which the 
brazen impersonator had pulled off this half, 
and handed it to him, saying," There 's a nut for 
you to crack." Even this did not shake his faith 
a particle. 

Mr. Hazard was proud of his ancestry, and be- 
came a genealogist of sorts, printing a "Gene- 
alogy of the Family of Hazard or Hassard " in 
connection with his delightful " Recollections of 
Olden Times," published at Newport, in 1879. 
Genealogies of the Robinson and Sweet families 
also appeared in this collection. 
C xvi ] 


It is noteworthy that the quaint reminiscences 
recorded in the"Jonny-Cake Papers" hark back 
to the early days in Narragansett. Hardly any 
mention is made of the school at Westtown, 
Pennsylvania, where he was given all the school- 
ing he ever had. His brief, but strenuous, busi- 
ness life gave him personal acquaintance with 
the group of worthies on Little Rest Hill. 

A series of papers afterward collected under 
the title "A Constitutional Manual ; Negro Slav- 
ery and the Constitution/' published two years 
after his wife's death (1856), takes as model 
Washington's Farewell Address. It is an impas- 
sioned plea for the preservation of the Union, 
and clearly points out in prophetic vein the in- 
evitable evils of the Reconstruction period. He 
undertakes to set out "an authentic narrative of 
outrages, wrongs, and cruelties equally numer- 
ous and atrocious as those detailed in ' Uncle 
Tom's Cabin ' out of the abuses occurring within 
the last thirty years in the asylums and poor- 
houses in Rhode Island alone." Throughout this 
pamphlet runs a strong religious tone, but 
Jesuits and their ways are fiercely denounced. 
In his later writings denunciation takes full pos- 
session, and supplants religion in his mind; in 
fact, it became a religion, negative yet positive. 
[ xvii ] 


The "Providence Journal" in 1878 said of 
him that he had rendered four distinguished ser- 
vices. First, his labors in behalf of the poor and 
insane. Second, his successful campaign against 
capital punishment. Third, his earnest advocacy 
and munificent support of African colonization. 
Fourth, his originating the movement in this 
country to relieve the Irish famine, concluding, 
" No one who knows him doubts the earnestness 
of his convictions, or the purity of his personal 
character, and he carries his years as lightly as 
a man of fifty." 

As Shepherd Tom lay a dying, he said," I fear 
I 'm better, and am sorry, for I 'm eager to begin 
the new life." 

So much may be said, yet there remains much 
more which must be left unsaid. Upon the back 
of the portrait of himself given me at the time 
of writing the "Jonny-Cake Papers," he wrote 
in his clear, rugged hand, " To my dear Cousin," 
a Shakespearean use of the term, still common 
among Friends. 

As such I delight to think of him, and I expect 
to meet him on that further shore. If he chides 
me gently for this writing, as is not unlikely, I 
shall tell him that I have tried to do a filial duty. 
As he himself never shrank from duty, he will 

C xviii 3 


forgive this faulty sketch, and I trust his kinsfolk 
will be equally kind. 

It is not unlikely that Shepherd Tom would 
be not only surprised but perhaps a little cha- 
grined to think that the republication of his 
"Jonny-Cake Papers" has furnished the mov- 
ing cause for this brief note upon his life and 
writings, for it is distinctly remembered that he 
regarded them as a mere amusement. 

The origin of these papers is just what it 
appears to be from the quotation taken from 
the Providence Journal at the head of the "first 
baking." The Journal's challenge, evidently is- 
sued in a friendly spirit, happened to fall under 
his eye at the psychological moment. 

The first paper was so favorably commented 
upon, and so many of his friends urged him to 
finish what he had begun, that he was easily led 
on through the whole series, which appeared at 
somewhat irregular intervals through a period 
of about two years. The whimsical style adopted 
naturally led along a path whose branches are 
legion. To some this is undoubtedly rather an 
annoyance than otherwise, but the general favor 
with which the papers were received made him 
one of the popular authors of the moment. 

The original form in which these papers were 

C xix 3 


reprinted was in two pamphlets, twelve "bak- 
ings" in the first, and fourteen with a supple- 
ment in the second. There were two editions 
in this early reprint, both published by the in- 
defatigable Sidney S. Rider of Providence. Both 
have been out of print for many years. 

In arranging the present republication, the 
supplement is placed first as an introduction 
to the main body of the book. Dealing as it 
does with the Narragansett schools, it seems to 
deserve to lead. Moreover, it is one of the most 
admired specimens of Shepherd Tom's discur- 
sive style. 

Special thanks are due to Mrs. Hiram F. Hunt 
for the loan of the portrait of the Witch, Sylvia 
Tory, by Mrs. Samuel Rodman of Rocky Brook, 
from which the drawing was made. 

To Thomas G. Hazard, Jr., also, thanks are 
rendered, as without his special knowledge and 
careful work the map presented with this edi- 
tion could not have been drawn. Acknowledg- 
ments are due to Mr. Dexter W. Hoxie,who has 
read the proofs with the greatest care and in- 
telligence, and to Miss Edith Carpenter, to whom 
the completeness of the Index is largely due. 


Of the Ninth Generation in Peace Dale 

Reminiscences of Narragansett Schools 
of Former Days 

Reminiscences of Narragansett 
Schools of Former Days 

SOME fifty years and more ago, I used to hear a 
good deal said about three old Masters who kept 
schools in a district including Boston Neck, Point Ju- 
dith, and the country lying around Tower and Mac- 
Sparren hills in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. I do 
not know how their names were spelled, but they were 
severally pronounced — Masters Kelly, Ridge, and 
Slaurter. From all I have heard, they must have been 
men of original character, and not only liberally edu- 
cated in letters, but well cultured in what pertains to 
the amenities of social life. They were, in fact, all Irish 
gentlemen who, I think it probable, had left their na- 
tive country for political reasons. They associated on 
equal terms with the gentry of the neighborhood, whose 
children they taught ; and I have thought that both the 
manners, and independent, self-reliant tone of char- 
acter that so distinguished the bygone generation of 
men and women in South Kingstown, were greatly in- 
fluenced (apart from the mere routine of book learning) 
by their daily intercourse, when children, with these 
accomplished and liberal-minded men. 

There used to be many anecdotes told illustrative 
of the peculiar characters and manners of these Irish 
school-masters. I remember hearing old Benjamin 
(pronounced Benny) Rodman (who once owned a grist- 
mill on Saukatucket river, at what is now called Peace 
Dale, who died more than fifty years ago, at his home- 
stead that stood where J. Newbold Hazard's house now 


stands) say that his parents sent him one morning to 
old Master Ridge's school, which was kept in a small 
school-house that stood on a little knoll on the east side 
of the old road leading to Little Rest (now Kingston), 
between Elisha Watson's and Jerry Knowles' corner, 
and just south of the gate opposite the old homestead 
of the late Jimmy and John Sherman. The old man told 
me that he felt so queer when Master Ridge called him 
up to say his letters that he could not repeat A after 
him, whereupon the awful old school-master opened 
his eyes so wide at him that he was frightened out of 
his wits, and run all the way home, nor could he be 
prevailed upon to go to school again. And yet, with this 
limited school learning, there was not, I am bold to say, 
a better citizen, a more honest and truthful man, in all 
Rhode Island than "old Benny Rodman" whose sole 
recorded memorial, within my knowledge, is a big 
buttonwood tree now standing in the west end of the 
Peace Dale mill-dam, called ' ' old Benny's horsewhip, ' ' 
which, according to tradition, grew from a twig he 
stuck into the mud when a boy, after having used it 
for the purpose indicated. He died when over ninety, 
without an enemy on earth, nor do I think he ever, in 
all his life, wilfully injured or maliciously deceived a 
single man, nor woman either, except in one dubious 
instance, wherein the most captious stickler for truth 
could hardly find it in his heart to severely condemn 
him. This occurred as follows: Old Benny Rodman's 
wife died at an advanced age, leaving in charge of her 
husband seven full-grown daughters, whose charms 
may be the better understood, perhaps, when I repeat 
what I heard the ferryman between Groton and New- 

C * ] 


London say when I was passing over the river Thames, 
some sixty years ago, viz.: That "the most grandest 
sight he ever seed in his life was the seven darters of old 
Benny Rodman all sitting in a half moon round their 
father's kitchen fire at wonst." 

About this time there chanced to be living some one 
mile or so south-west of Little Rest Hill a widow Bab- 
cock (mother of the late Jonathan Babcock) , who owned 
a grist-mill that stood on the site afterwards occupied 
by the Narragansett cotton factory . One bri ght summer 
morning old Benny's daughters were greatly astonished 
on beholding their father place a bushel of corn on his 
old mare's back, and after giving positive orders not to 
start the mill on "no account" till his return, mount 
and ride offon the road leading to Little Rest Hill, which 
was three miles or more away. Some hours after he 
came back with a bushel of meal, which he emptied 
into the meal chest, and then, without saying a word, 
went down and started his mill. 

A day or two after it got noised about that on this 
occasion old Benny proceeded to the widow Babcock's 
mill, and after turning his grist of corn into the hopper, 
he told the mill-boy that he would just step up to the 
house, where it seems he found the widow all alone, but 
sitting near the kitchen door, so that a little negro boy, 
enfant terrible, heard through a crack all that was said. 
After asking the widow, "How dost thou do?" and 
learning from her that she was "pretty smart," the 
smitten swain put the question honestly and plumbly: 
' ' Wouldst thou be free to change thy situation in life 
and swap thy name for Rodman? " to all of which the 
widow replied, "that she was sorry he had put him- 

C s ] 


self to the trouble of coming so far on such an errand, 
as she was not free in her mind to do the thing he pro- 
posed;" whereupon the rejected lover rejoined that no 
harm had been done, as his own mill not being running, 
he thought he would take a grist to her mill, and while 
it was grinding just step up to the house and learn her 
mind on the subject he had proposed, which was spoken 
pretty much in accordance with the literal truth, but 
still no doubt with the object of deceiving. Be this as 
it may, the crime, I think, could not have lain very 
heavy on the old man's conscience, as I have heard 
my mother say that in answer to an inquiry from her, 
made a day or two before his death, as to how he felt 
in regard to his passing away, he cheerfully replied, 
"as the saying is, 'as easy as an old shoe.' " 

Old Thomas B. Hazard ("Nailer Tom"), a man 
of infinite anecdote, used to tell a characteristic story 
of old Master Slauter, who was especially noted for 
his unvarying politeness and good breeding on all oc- 
casions. Fox-hunting was one of the pastimes in which 
the gentry of those days greatly delighted. One was to 
come off (I think) at old Rowland Brown's — who lived 
in a splendid mansion for those days, situated on Tower 
Hill, at the junction of the two roads leading north and 
east, which house I remember when it was in good 
repair. In the evening, after the chase, it was usual for 
the host to furnish his guests with a substantial sup- 
per, and it was in connection with this repast that 
Brown and his waggish friends proposed to put Mas- 
ter Slauter 's good breeding to the severest test. After 
a hard day's ride, the wearied huntsmen returned to 
Mr. Brown's with appetites that illy brooked delay, 

C 4 ] 


and after a season were conducted by mine host to 
supper, when lo and behold, nothing but a huge Indian 
bran pudding and a can of molasses appeared on the 
table. Mr. Brown apologized to his guests and espe- 
cially to Master Slauter, whom he seated at his right 
hand, for the meagreness of the fare, which he attrib- 
uted to unforeseen accidents. To all of which, as often 
as repeated, Master Slauter with his usual urbanity 
bowed and replied, "Very good, Mr. Brown, very 
good indeed," endeavoring to suit his action to his 
words by licking his spoon and occasionally forcing 
down a morsel of the unsavory mess. After the old gen- 
tleman's patience was thought to have been sufficiently 
tried, without eliciting the least sign of dissatisfaction 
on his part, the host gave orders to bring in the roast 
turkeys and other luxurious edibles, to which, after 
Master Slauter had been bountifully helped, he applied 
himself, prefaced with the remark addressed to mine 
host with a courteous smile, "A very great addition 
to the supper, Mr. Brown." 

After this class of school- masters had passed away, 
a new set came forward in Narragansett, who, with- 
out much pretension to polite training or extraordinary 
literary attainments, had an irregular, rugged method 
of teaching scarce less effective in some respects than 
that of their progenitors. The first school I ever at- 
tended was kept by Master Robert Noyes in a small 
school-house, that is yet standing, on the east side of 
the old post-road, on Tower Hill, which was built in 
the last century by funds contributed in part by will 
of John Case. Squire Case's house formerly stood, as 
I remember well, on the extreme east side of the vil- 

C 5 ] 


lage, with the old Hull and Andrew Nichols house to 
the west of it, and nearly opposite to the old Chief Jus- 
tice James Helme house that is still standing on the 
north side of the road leading to Newport via the South 
Ferry. Squire Case was a particular friend of Doctor 
Benjamin Franklin, who always made it a point to stop 
a night with him on his periodical journeyingsby the 
post-road from Boston to Philadelphia. Through Mas- 
ter Noyes' peculiar methods of teaching "the young 
idea how to shoot," I think I may be indebted for the 
extirpation in the bud of several youthful faults that 
might not have been suppressed or reached by the more 
refined system of education that is practiced in the com- 
mon schools of the present day. 

Master Noyes was a perfect adept in ruler exercise, 
in which he seemed to take great delight. There was 
a tradition in the school, that some of the scholars, hav- 
ing in days past learned that the crossing of two hairs 
on the palm of the hand was sure to split a wooden 
ruler, it prompted Master Noyes to the discovery and 
use of one made by nailing a piece of sole leather some 
eight or ten inches long firmly to a wooden handle. 
When Master Noyes was swinging this instrument, 
he always seemed in glory, and that he might not lack 
subjects on which to show forth his power and skill, 
he deputized a big boy named Gust Tifft (whom the 
Devil take if he has not already got him, and keep him 
if he has), whose business it was to pounce upon any 
hapless wight who removed his eyes from his book, 
very much as a spider might on a fly, and drag such up 
to Master Noyes' seat, where they were sure to have 
more or less heavy strokes laid on their left hands, the 

c e : 


right hand being spared for fear its mutilation might 
interfere with the writing lessons. 

I remember that I had a bad practice of stuffing my 
jacket pockets full of almost everything that came in 
my way. One afternoon Master Noyes called me from 
my seat and made me unload and lay every individual 
article as I took them out in rows on a bench in sight 
of all the school. I do not remember, probably, the half 
of what the contents were, but I recollect a part of those 
taken from the right pocket, viz.: One bunch of hair 
pulled from Deacon Brown's old horse's tail, to make 
snares of for quails; two rusty board nails; one shingle 
nail; two small eels, which I caught in Indian run; 
three live crabs, got in Narrow river; a piece of beef- 
steak, left from my dinner; one pin hook; one white- 
faced bumble-bee; four tadpoles; and one bottom fish; 
besides several other items . When I saw all these things 
arranged side by side, and everybody looking and 
snickering, especially Sally Brown (who I was court- 
ing), I felt so kind of streaked that I made up my mind 
that I would never stuff my pockets so full of such 
things again just so long as I lived, and I never have. 
I will just here remark that " tadpole" was ever after 
my nick-name at Noyes' school. I well remember, too, 
at one noon time of wetting my breeches way up above 
my knees wading after bottom fish in old Miss Dyer's 
run. Miss Dyer was a connection as I have heard of 
the husband of Mrs. Mary Dyer that the pious Puri- 
tans of Boston hanged on Boston Common, because she 
said thee and thou, or was guilty of some like offense. 
She lived in a house yet standing a furlong or so south 
of the village on the east side of the old post-road, a fur- 

C 7 H 


long or so north of the old Bull house. When I went 
into school, master called me up and made me take off 
my breeches and hang them up to dry just back of 
the school-house on old Miss Nichols' clothes-line. I 
thought then that I would never again wet my breeches 
wading after bottom fish, and to this day I never have. 
When I came back, Master Noyes told me to take a 
seat with black Suke Watson on one side of me and 
yaller Bet Hawkins on the other. Now black Suke had 
a spite against me because I once smooched her face 
with lamp-black, such as is used for marking sheep, 
which made a sort of dingy whitish-looking streak on 
her right cheek, whilst Bet had always been mad with 
me from the day I beguiled her into old Stephen Hull's 
orchard, and by dint of coaxing and kissing, got her 
to hold still while I sawed with a dull case-knife nearly 
all the hair close off one side her head. As I sat with 
each eye a little askance, I could perceive that yaller 
Bet was snickering at me, whilst at the same moment 
black Suke slily stuck a pin half an inch into the lower 
and hinder part of my bare right hip. This made me 
jump clean out off my seat, when in an instant Gust 
Tifft, who had been watching his "chance, because he 
also held a grudge against me for nick-naming him 

Spider, ' ' sprang over the benches, seizing me by the 
neck, dragged me up to Master Noyes, for, as he said, 
looking off my lesson. For some reason Master Noyes 
did not ferule me that time, but told me to stand up in 
front of his desk and study my lesson, without once 
taking my eyes off. 

Now it so happened that my shirt was very short, 
and my jacket shorter still, whilst both my hands were 

C 8 1 


required to keep my old dog-eared broken-back 'd 
spelling primer in place, and hold fast to my thumb 
papers, which were always used in those days, when 
books were both scarce and dear, and there were no 
rings formed as now to furnish new ones every school 
term. This, as the reader must see, put me in a most 
pitiable plight, and necessitated me to exhibit to the 
whole school all the nether parts of my person in their 
native state of nudity. To say that I felt kind of queer, 
does not express a tythe of my feelings. In fact, I felt 
so desperately ashamed that I resolved, from that mo- 
ment, I would never again smooch a black gaPs cheek 
with a marking stick, nor cut a yaller gal's hair off 
with a dull case-knife, nor nick-name a school jackall 
"spider," so long as I lived, and as yet I never have. 
Glad indeed was I when school was let out, and Master 
Noyes told me to get my breeches and go home. 

But now I found that my troubles had but just 
begun. As I was hanging my wet breeches on old 
Miss Nichols' clothes-line to dry, I thought I saw Jim 
Case peeking at me from the other side of the stone- 
wall, where he was making believe work in his grand- 
mother's garden. It did not, however, occur to me that 
he meditated any mischief against me. Now Jim was 
considered by all the school-boys and girls to be a very 
bad fellow. Bob and {Stringer) Bill Brown, Sam Helme 
and Ol. Perry (who afterwards whipped the British 
on Lake Erie), and the other big boys that could lick 
Jim in a fight, used to call him "Sea Clam," because 
he had so big a mouth, which reached from ear to ear. 
Now it happened that Jim had held for some time a 
grudge against me, which originated after this wise : 

C 9 ~\ 


I had carried with me one morning to school, a big 
scarlet gilliflower, which I showed to some of the boys, 
Jim Case among others. He at once asked me for a 
bite. I looked at his mouth and told him I was afraid 
he would take too big a bite. He promised that he would 
not take more than half a bite, and I let him shut his 
teeth on my apple. Instead of taking only half a bite as 
he promised, Jim took into his big mouth half of my 
gilliflower. I said nothing, but made up my mind that 
I would before long get even with Jim Case. So I got 
another big gilliflower, and cut out a plug from one 
side, and filled the hole nearly full with red pepper. I 
covered this with the outer part of the plug so nicely 
fitted that the apple looked as sound and whole as be- 
fore. I took the apple with me to school, and at noon 
sauntered with it in my hand over to Jim's, and asked 
him to lend me his scoop net to go a crabbing with at 
Narrow (Pettaquamscutt) river the next Saturday. Jim 
spied my big apple and said, "Gimme a bite." I 
reminded him how he had cheated me before, upon 
which he promised, by Samson and Goliath, that he 
would not serve me so again, and, moreover, he de- 
clared that unless I would give him another bite of my 
apple he would not lend me his crab net. I had now 
got Jim where I wanted him, as I knew he would take 
as big a bite as he could. Suffice to say, he opened his 
mouth so that his head was more than half off, and 
with his great jaws took in a full half of my apple and 
all of the red pepper. As I run away with the smaller 
half in my hand, I looked over my shoulder and saw 
Jim shaking his fist at me and mumbling "you bet." 
He was very mad, and would have said more only the 
C 10 ] 


red pepper wouldn't let him. I afterwards learned that 
just after I left my breeches on Miss Nichols' clothes- 
line to dry, Jim Case sneaked over the wall and snatched 
them away, and hid them under a big gooseberry bush 
in the Case's garden. As it was, I had to make my way 
home without my breeches, which, to avoid as much as 
possible being seen, I did by cross-lots, in one of which 
(the Gould lot), as I hasted along, I espied behind a 
bunch of bushes Wilson Pollock's old run-at cow, just 
as I was about half way across the lot. I run for life, 
you may depend, for I saw the old sarpent look my 
way in seeming wonder for a few moments, and then 
toss her head and tail in the air, and make furiously 
for me at the top of her speed. Luckily, however, I 
reached the dividing wall, and just made out to get 
over it by help of a boost from the old cow's right 
horn, which landed me on the other side in the mid- 
dle of a great bunch of bull blackberry briars, which 
scratched my bare legs so that they bled all over. As 
I hurried along a bright idea entered my mind in con- 
nection with the old run-at cow, should other resources 
fail me. My plan was to get around to my grand- 
mother's window before anybody saw me, when I 
knew all would be made right, as I was her especial 
pet. But this plan was frustrated by the following cir- 
cumstance: There lived in my father's family a col- 
ored boy by the name of Abram. His mother was a 
Spanish mulatto by the name of Hit. No one could tell 
exactly who his father was, but those who knew him 
best said he was a son of the Devil's begetting. As I 
came down the lane with gingerly pace, I was horror- 
stricken by seeing Abe standing in the wash-room door 

c 11 : 


looking towards me with eyes standing in wonderment, 
at least two inches out of his head. When this imp 
of Satan recognized me, he roared out at the top of his 
hideous chuckle, "Why, here comes Massa Tommy 
down the lane with his breeches off! " This brought 
everybody in the house to the back door, and in an- 
swer to my mother's and grandmother's inquiries, why 
I came home in such strange plight, I resorted to the 
fable I had been forming in my mind, and told them 
that Neighbor Pollock's old run-at cow chased me so 
hard that I was forced to run out of my breeches to get 
away from her. My story did not, however, stand cross- 
examination and I was finally forced to acknowledge, 
much to the grief of my best friends, that I had re- 
course to falsehood in the vain attempt to cover up the 
real facts of my humiliating case. 

I played truant all the next day in company with 
Niles Gardiner, who got mad because Master Noyes 
threatened to whip him for breaking down the widow 
Brown's young pear tree in the door yard in front of 
her house. In the meanwhile my father had taken Abe 
with him to bring his horse back from Franklin's 
ferry (now South ferry) on his way to Newport. In 
coming home that precious limb of Satan got to Tower 
Hill (as he had no doubt planned) just as the forenoon 
school was let out, and he soon had every boy and girl 
around him listening to his version of my adventures, 
which doubtless lost nothing of their significance in 
his telling. 

On the next day I was forced, very much against 
my will, to go to school again, and no sooner did I 
show myself, than all the boys and girls shouted as 


loud as they could, "Why, here comes Tadpole Tom, 
that Wilson Pollock's old run-at cow chased out of 
his breeches." To tell the truth, I was so thoroughly 
cow'd and dumbfounded by my misfortunes that I 
could hardly say boo to a goose, and I know not what 
would have been the results, if my father had not prov- 
identially just at that time arranged to send myself 
and elder brother to old Elisha Thornton's boarding- 
school in Smithfield, where neither Abe nor the story 
of the breeches and run-at cow ever followed me. Once 
away, I solemnly determined to profit by my misfor- 
tunes, and resolved never again to try and get even 
with a bad boy like Jim Case, nor in any dilemma, 
however grievous, resort to falsehood to sustain myself. 
In looking over the foregoing narrative I find that 
the leading facts, on which others are claimed to be 
founded, are all correct, and as a whole, I believe it 
will compare, in point of veracity, with the general 
tenor of history, whether ancient or modern, sacred or 

*m< ■■;. *■■-■ A; jjii^S^Mii 

C is J 

The Jonny-Cake Papers 

First Baking 

White Indian meal is very nice, as all Rhode Islanders know, 
but we should like to ask Thomas R. Hazard how much his 
cost him in his farming days ? Providence Journal, January 16, 

A ND where, let me ask in turn, did the Journal 
±\. learn that white Indian meal is very nice? Not 
certainly outside of Washington and Newport coun- 
ties, for nowhere else on the globe was the real article 
ever to be found. The Southern epicures crack a good 
deal about hoe-cakes and hominy made from their 
white flint corn, the Pennsylvanians of their mush, 
the Boston folks of their Boston brown bread, whilst 
one Joel Barlow, of New Haven, or somewhere else in 
Connecticut, used to sing a long song in glorification 
of New England hasty pudding; but none of these 
reputed luxuries are worthy of holding a candle to an 
old-fashioned Narragansett jonny-cake made by an 

C 17 D 


old-time Narragansett colored cook, from Indian corn 
meal raised on the southern coast of Rhode Island, the 
fabled Atlantis, where alone the soft, balmy breezes 
from the Gulf Stream ever fan the celestial plant in 
its growth, and impart to the grain that genial soft- 
ness, that tempting fragrance and delicious flavor, that 
caused the Greeks of old to bestow upon Narragansett 
corn meal the name of Ambrosia, imagining it to be 
a food originally designed and set apart by the gods 
exclusively for their own delectation. 

But alas, since the introduction of coal fires, cook- 
ing stoves, common schools, and French and Irish be- 
deviling cooks, the making and baking of a jonny-cake 
has become one of the lost arts. And yet I can remem- 
ber when its preparation and completion deservedly 
stood at the very acme of the fine arts of Rhode Island. 
My grandfather used to have in his kitchen an old 
cook by the name of Phillis, originally from Senegam- 
bia, or Guinea, who probably made as good a jonny- 
cake in her day as any other artist known, whether 
white or black, or in short, as was ever made outside 
of heaven. Her process, so far as I could gather from 
observation, was as follows: — premising that she al- 
ways insisted on having white Narragansett corn, 
ground at what is now called Hammond's Mill, which 
is situated on the site of the elder Gilbert Stuart's snuif 
mill, just above the head of Pettaquamscutt pond or lake. 

Nor could Phillis be induced by any persuasion to 
touch meal ground at any other mill, for the reason, 
as she averred, that the mills in the more immediate 
vicinity made harsh feeling round meal, whereas that 
particular mill made soft feeling flat meal. I may per- 

C is 3 


haps just as well here digress to say that there are no 
other mill-stones on earth that will grind corn meal fit 
for a genuine jonny-cake, except those made from the 
Narragansett granite rock, most of which is of a pe- 
culiarly fine grain, varying, however, in quality, from 
which arose the distinction of round and flat meal. For 
instance, the mill-stones at Coon's old mill, now Wake- 
field, being coarse grained, made round meal, and for 
that reason amateurs in jonny-cakes, who lived within 
a few rods only of that mill, used to tote their grists on 
their shoulders, or on horseback, way off to Hammond's 
or Mumford's mills, some eight to twelve miles dis- 
tant, where the grain of the mill-stones, being of a finer 
grade, made the flat meal. The idea that a burr stone 
can grind meal even out of the best of Rhode Island 
white corn, that an old-fashioned Narragansett pig 
would not have turned up his nose at in disgust, is 
perfectly preposterous. Rushed through the stones in 
a stream from the hopper as big as your arm, and 
rolled over and over in its passage, the coarse, uneven, 
half-ground stuff" falls into the meal box below, hot as 
ashes and as tasteless as sawdust. I am sure it would 
have done the Journal's heart good to have stood by 
and watched the proceedings of an old-fashioned Nar- 
ragansett miller, after he had turned the grist he, the 
Journal, had just brought on his back to be ground. 
The object of the miller then was not to see how much 
corn he could run through his mill in a given time, but 
how well he could grind it, let the time required to do 
it be what it might ! See the white-coated old man now 
first rub the meal, as it falls, carefullyand thoughtfully 
between his fingers and thumb, then graduate the feed 

[ 19 J 


and raise or lower the upper stone, with that nice sense 
of adjustment, observance, and discretion that aRaphael 
might be supposed to exercise in the mixing and grind- 
ing of his colors for a Madonna, or a Canova in put- 
ting the last touch of his chisel to the statue of a god, 
until, by repeated handling, he had found the ambro- 
sia to have acquired exactly the desired coolness and 
flatness — the result of its being cut into fine slivers 
by the nicely-balanced revolving stones — rather than 
rolled, re-rolled, tumbled, and mumbled over and over 
again, until all its life and sweetness had been vitiated 
or dispelled. 

I used to be told when I was a boy, how old Benny 
Rodman, whose button wood horsewhip may now be 
seen growing in the mill-dam at Peace Dale, just a 
few steps from the north-west corner of where his 
grist mill then stood, used to turn his bushel of grist 
in the hopper of an afternoon, and after graduating 
the mill-stones so as to make flat-fine-nice-cool meal, 
walk leisurely to Tower Hill, two miles away, where 
he would take tea with the widow Brown and do an 
hour's courting, and then return in time to turn up 
another grist before the other was all out of the hopper. 
And this was the kind of meal that since my remem- 
brance used to be carried by the farmers of Narragan- 
sett and sold in the Newport market, in preference to 
selling their corn at the same price, for the reason that 
a cent or two per bushel was gained by the difference 
of weight, allowed by law between the two, over and 
above the two quarts taken for toll per bushel. Now in 
the same market the farmer gets seventy cents per 
bushel for his corn, and the consumer pays to the 

C 2 ° 3 


grocer at the rate of more than twice that price, thirty- 
five to forty cents per peck, for the meal into which 
it is ground, to remedy which evil a strike for higher 
wages is all that seems to occur to the mind of the 
mechanic and laborer who purchase by the pound, 
neatly put up in paper bags, delivered at their door 
in a two-hundred dollar wagon drawn by a three- 
hundred dollar horse, and driven by a young common 
school memory educated scion of some honest farmer, 
who has been taught to despise the agricultural call- 
ing of his fathers, to ape the manners and reckless ex- 
penditure of snobbery, and to suppose that the chief 
end and aim of life consists in sporting a shoddy suit 
of dandy clothes, driving a fast horse, and smoking 
daily half a dozen ten-cent cigars, to say nothing of 
the inevitable allowance of beer and bitters. Since 
my remembrance, mechanics and laborers, after their 
twelve hours day's work was done, used to take their 
own meal bag to the common market on Ferry wharf 
in Newport, purchase a bushel of most delicious In- 
dian meal fresh from Hammond's or Mumford's or 
Clark's mills, for seventy cents, a little over or under, 
tote it home on their backs, and pour it into that long 
inherited heirloom, the family meal chest. Now with 
corn at the same price as then, men and striplings go 
loafing after their ten hours make believe day's work 
is done, and leave it for the grocer to send their family 
meal at more than twice the price the farmer gets for 
the corn from which it is ground, and then wonder 
why it is that with the wages of former times more 
than doubled, they find it so difficult to provide for their 
wives and children. 

C 21 ] 


Let me here say that I have been practically and 
thoroughly conversant with the wages of labor in Rhode 
Island, the price of products, and the cost of living for 
more than sixty years, and I can aver without fear of 
my asseveration being disputed, that never -within that 
period has there been a time when the wages of labor 
would purchase so many of the necessaries, comforts, 
and luxuries of life as at this blessed present moment. 
A man's day's work will now buy, if wisely applied, 
full twice what it would fifty years ago, whilst a wo- 
man's will purchase, of an average of her ordinary 
expenditures, from three to five times, and of the most 
essential articles of clothing more than twelve times 
as much as it would within the reach of my memory. 
In fact, I have myself hired hundreds of young wo- 
men at periods when it required full four weeks of their 
earnings to purchase ten yards of calico. Now the same 
amount of a young lady's time will purchase two 
hundred and fifty yards of prints and calico of equal 
or better quality. If the same thrift, though tfulness, and 
frugality prevailed now that did half a century ago, 
every healthy and industrious family might, without 
depriving themselves of a single comfort of life they 
now partake of, acquire a competence in ten years. But 
then they must cease living out of grocers' tin cans, 
ornamental packages, and paper bags ! nor must they 
purchase sour flour and alum made in loaf shape at 
ten cents per pound — or at the rate of thirty dollars 
per barrel for flour and water — when they can buy 
purer flour for one-fifth that price. So, too, the young 
women, I beg pardon, I should say the young ladies, 
must spend less of their time in the perusal of dime 

C 22 n 


novels and drumming on the "Piany," and devote 
more of their attention to household duties and the 
baking of jonny-cakes, which brings me back to 
Phillis' old-fashioned mode of practicing that sublime 

As I said before, after Phillis had taken from the 
family meal chest her modicum of meal ground at 
Hammond's Mill, which brings suddenly to my mind 
a circumstance that occurred some few years ago, 
which I will digress a moment to relate. Some few 
years ago, accidentally hearing Mrs. William S. Pat- 
ten, of Providence, lamenting that she found it im- 
possible to obtain eatable Indian meal in the city, I 
took occasion soon after to call at Hammond's Mill, 
and obtain a peck of fresh-ground ambrosia, which I 
sent to Mr. Patten by express, at the same time dis- 
patching a letter by mail, informing him from whence 
he could always obtain the luxurious article in perfec- 
tion, with some suggestions as to the proper mode of 
making and baking jonny-cakes. Some weeks after I 
received a letter from him, filling in close writing four 
pages of large-sized letter sheet, thanking me in the 
most grateful terms for my invaluable present of real 
Indian meal, which he said his wife prized so highly 
that she used it only on extraordinary occasions. Mr. 
Patten also expressed great gratification in the descrip- 
tion I gave him of the old-fashioned Narragansett 
method of making and baking jonny-cake, an art 
which he thought should by all means be preserved, 
if possible. He told me further that he had seriously 
thought of depositing my descriptive letter with the 
Rhode Island Historical Society, but could not bring 

I 2 3 ] 


himself to part with so valuable a document, and so 
had placed it for safe keeping in his archives with his 
most valued papers. 

As I was saying, Phillis, after taking from the chest 
her modicum of meal, proceeded to bolt it through 
her finest sieve, reserving the first teacupful that fell 
for the especial purpose of powdering fish before their 
being fried. This brings to my recollection the vast 
difference there was in the old-fashioned way of fry- 
ing fish, especially smelts, from that now in vogue in 
Providence, Boston, and such like outlandish places, 
at least so far as hotels and restaurants are concerned. 
There smelts are now-a-days, without preparation, sim- 
ply thrown pell-mell into a pan with raw hog's lard 
of questionable purity, which they absorb before it is 
half cooked, imparting thereby a greasy, slippery savor 
to the dear little fish too horrible to mention or abide. 
On the contrary, Phillis used always to keep a kettle 
of pure leaf lard, from corn-fed hogs, thoroughly 
boiled, set apart for the especial purpose of frying 
smelts during their season. These were always ob- 
tained each morning from the Saucatucket smelt weir, 
and delivered to her alive and flipping, the kettle of 
lard being on the fire boiling all the time. Each deli- 
cate little fish was, after being washed, rolled carefully 
in the meal until every hair breadth of it from the tip 
of its head to the end of its tail was coated in the flour 
of ambrosia; then taking the caudal extremity of each 
smelt between her thumb and finger, she dropped it 
head foremost into the boiling kettle, and there left 
it until it was thoroughly done and crisp. No epicure 
who has never tasted smelts cooked by that method 
C 2 4 ] 


knows anything of what a smelt is, nor after having 
once tasted of such can he ever be induced to put into 
his mouth one of the vile things bearing the name, 
that has been, minus the meal, half fried in less than 
half-cooked hog's lard, thereafter. 

It is said by some that the Narragansett smelt, 
cooked in the only proper way, was in pagan times one 
of the two relishes or condiments that the gods alone 
indulged in whilst reveling in jonny-cake made of 
Narragansett white corn meal, the other being Petta- 
quamscutt eels caught in the months of January and 
February with spears thrust into the mud beneath the 
ice, where they lie. The glorious excellence of these 
eels, prepared in the old-time way, I am sure no poet 
— not even Homer or Byron, with all their glowing 
powers of description — can portray, much less a 
simple writer of prose. The method was as follows : A 
basket of fat, yellow-breasted eels being brought fresh 
from the frozen river, were first saturated with a hand- 
ful of live wood ashes. This loosened the coating of 
slime so that they were readily cleansed. Next the head 
was taken off, and the eel split down the entire length 
of the back. They were then washed in clean sea water 
and hung up the kitchen chimney, with its wide, open 
fireplace, for one night only. Next morning the eels 
were cut in short pieces and placed on a gridiron, flesh 
side next to sweet-smelling, glowing coals, made from 
green oak, walnut, or maple wood. When sufficiently 
broiled on that side, they were turned on the gridiron 
and a small slice of fragrant butter, made from the 
milk of cows fed on honey-laden white clover and aro- 
matic five-fingers, put on each piece of eel. By this 

C 25 3 


time the family were seated at the breakfast table in 
the great-room, waiting impatiently for the all-but- 
divine luxury, the exquisite aroma of which pene- 
trated every nook and cranny of the house. In due 
time it appears, on a China plate, you may say; by no 
means ! but on the identical gridiron, hot and lus- 
cious, with little transparent globules of dew-like nec- 
tar sparkling on each piece. Every guest or member 
of the family helps himself from the hot gridiron, which 
is then returned to the glowing coals, and again and 
again replenished until the appetite is surfeited or the 
supply of eels exhausted ; probably the latter, as I 
never heard of but one instance wherein a fatal sur- 
feit was produced by the dainty dish, which was the 
case of one of the kings of England, who died from 
eating too enormously of broiled eels, speared under 
the ice at the mouth of the river Humber. I am aware 
that history charges his death to gormandizing on 
stewed lamprey eels — a transparent mistake — as no 
man could be tempted to indulge his appetite exorbi- 
tantly on eels of any kind — stewed or fried, but only 
on yellow-breasted eels, speared under the ice and pre- 
pared and cooked after the Narragansett mode. 

There used to be an old man in Narragansett by 
the name of Scribbins, Avho was a great favorite of my 
grandfather because of his simplicity and honesty. 
When a small boy, I remember Scribbins' s breakfast- 
ing at our house, one winter morning, when we had 
broiled eels. The old man helped himself from the 
gridiron seventeen times, a steady smile playing over 
his features every moment that passed between the first 
and last mouthful. He then looked my grandfather — 

L 26 ] 


Uncle Toby like — blandly and steadily in the face, 
and significantly nodding his head sideways in the 
direction of the kitchen door, remarked: "Them 's 
eels, them is." 

As I was saying, after Phillis had sifted a cupful of 
the flour of the meal for fish coating, she continued 
with the same sieve to bolt about one-half of what re- 
mained for her jonny-cakes, and then transferred the 
balance to a coarser sieve to be used minus the bran 
in the making of Rhineinjun bread. This bread, vul- 
garly called nowadays rye and Indian bread, in the 
olden time was always made of one quart of unbolted 
Rhode Island rye meal to two quarts of the coarser 
grained parts of ambrosia, well kneaded and made into 
large round loaves of the size of a half-peck measure. 
There were two ways of baking it. One way was to 
fill two large iron basins with the kneaded dough, and 
late in the evening, when the logs in the kitchen were 
well burned down, to clear a place in the middle of the 
fire to the hearth and place the two basins of bread, 
the one on top of the other, so as to inclose their con- 
tents, and press them into one loaf. The whole was 
then carefully covered with hot ashes with coals on top, 
and left until morning. The difference between brown 
bread baked in this way with its thick, soft sweet 
crust, and that baked in the oven of an iron stove, 
I must leave to abler pens than mine to portray. An- 
other way was to place a number of loaves in iron 
basins in a long-heated and well-tempered brick oven 
— stone would not answer as the heat is too brittle 
— into which a cup of water was also placed to make 
the crust soft. The oven door was then closed and 

C 27 ] 


plastered up. When the door of the oven was opened 
in the morning it was customary to raise one or two 
windows in the kitchen, the fragrance from the bread 
being so enrapturing as sometimes to affect persons 
whose nerves were not very strong. 

Even before the Boston brown bread had become 
utterly worthless by the introduction of Western corn 
meal, made often of damaged corn, and tasteless West- 
ern rye to match, I remember bringing home with me, 
after a visit to that city, a loaf of the famous material, 
that my children might compare its quality with our 
family bread. They were all delighted at the prospect 
of tasting the famous luxury they had heard so much 
of; but after the first mouthful, not one of them seemed 
disposed to take a second. After breakfast I took the 
loaf and placed it in the trough for an old Berkshire 
sow to eat, that I knew was very fond of our Rhine- 
injun bread, a piece of which I used almost daily to 
treat her with. The old creature — which had not been 
fed that morning — dove her nose greedily into it ; but 
at the first taste she dropped the morsel, and regard- 
ing me askance, with a suspicious and sinister ex- 
pression in her eye, she hastened to a stagnant, muddy 
pool in the corner of the yard, and rinsed her mouth. 

As I was saying, after Phillis had sifted the meal 
for her jonny-cake, she proceeded to carefully knead 
it in a wooden tray, having first scalded it with boil- 
ing water, and added sufficient fluid, sometimes new 
milk, at other times pure water, to make it of a proper 
consistence. It was then placed on the jonny-cake 
board about three-quarters of an inch in thickness, 
and well dressed on the surface with rich sweet cream 
[ 28 1 


to keep it from blistering when placed before the fire. 
The red oak jonny-cake board was always the middle 
portion of a flour barrel from five to six inches wide. 
This was considered an indispensable requisite in the 
baking of a good jonny-cake. All the old-time colored 
cooks without exception, hold that the flour barrel was 
first made for the express purpose of furnishing jonny- 
cake boards, and that its subsequent application to the 
holding of flour was merely the result of an afterthought. 
Be this as it may, no one I feel certain ever saw a regu- 
lar, first-rate, old-time jonny-cake that was not baked 
on a red oak board taken from the middle part of the 
head of a flour barrel. The cake was next placed up- 
right on the hearth before a bright, green hardwood 
fire. This kind of fire was indispensable also. And so 
too was the heart-shaped flat-iron that supported it, 
which was shaped exactly to meet every exigency. 
First the flat's front smooth surface w'as placed im- 
mediately against the back of the jonny-cake to hold 
it in a perpendicular position before the fire until the 
main part of the cake was sufficiently baked. Then a 
slanting side of the flat-iron was turned so as to sup- 
port the board in a reclining position until the bottom 
and top extremities of the cake were in turn baked, 
and lastly, the board was slewed round and rested 
partly against the handle of the flat-iron, so as to bring 
the ends of the cake in a better position to receive the 
heat from the fire. After a time it was discovered that 
the flat-iron, first invented as a jonny-cake holder, was 
a convenient thing to iron clothes with, and has since 
been used for that purpose very extensively. When 
the jonny-cake was sufficiently done on the first side, 

C 29 ] 


a knife was passed between it and the board, and it 
was dextrously turned and anointed, as before, with 
sweet, golden-tinged cream, previous to being placed 
again before the fire. 

Such as I have described was the process of mak- 
ing and baking the best article of farinaceous food that 
was ever partaken of by mortal man, to wit, an old- 
fashioned jonny-cake made of white Rhode Island corn 
meal, carefully and slowly ground with Rhode Island 
fine-grained granite mill-stones, and baked and con- 
scientiously tended before glowing coals of a quick 
green hardwood fire, on a red oak barrel-head sup- 
ported by a flat-iron. With proper materials and care, 
a decent jonny-cake can be baked on a coal stove, 
though by no means equal to the old-time genuine 
article, for the simple reason that wood fires in open 
fireplaces have become, as a general rule, things of the 
past, and good, careful, painstaking cooks extinct. 

I may at some future time return to the subject of 
jonny-cakes and old-time cookery, and state some cir- 
cumstances that would seem to go to establish the fact 
that Phillis, my grandfather's cook, was the remote 
cause of the French Revolution, and the death of 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. But enough for the 

C so ] 

Second Baking 

To the Editor of the Journal: Mr. Thomas R. Hazard, in his 
very entertaining letter to the Journal upon johnny-cakes and 
cognate subjects, intimated that his grandfather's famous cook 
had something to do with the French Revolution. If Mr. Hazard 
knew with how much interest near a hundred thousand people 
have read his commendations of the famous cook, he would 
rescue her character from any imputation that she overthrew 
governments in Europe with the same facility that she mani- 
fested in manipulating the johnny-cake on the red cedar barrel- 
head in Old Narragansett. q ld £ ove 
Journal, Feb. 12th, 1879. 

"ANGELS and ministers of grace " defend me from 
IJl the Old Cove who insinuates that my grand- 
father's incomparable cook baked her jonny-cake on 
a red cedar barrel-head board. Let Old Cove be advised 
by one who knows something about such matters, as 
well as the difference between red oak and red cedar, 
and henceforth look to it, that every bell in his domi- 
cile is muffled, every door-knocker chained, and every 
shutter well fastened at night, for if the spirit of the 
Journal of the 12th inst. should happen to fall in her 
way, he may rely upon it, that the moment Old Cove 
admits a spirit "mejum" in his house, whether by 
accident or design, old Phillis will allow no sleep to 
his eyelids, nor rest to his bones, until every bell wire 
under his roof is snapped, and every pane of glass in 
his windows broken by her exasperated ghost. 

Then again, in the very same paragraph, to dese- 
crate the name of Rhode Island's chiefest luxury with 
an "h" sticking up in the middle of it! This proves 

C 31 ] 


Old Cove's entire ignorance of the patriotic derivation 
of the Christian name Jonny as applied to the far-famed 
cake, made only in perfection in the South counties of 
Rhode Island, of soft-feeling, fine, flat meal, ground 
from pure white floury Rhode Island corn, in Rhode 
Island granite stone mills. Old Cove, if to the manor 
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations born, 
should have known that the original spelling of the 
name of the favorite food of the gods was journey- 
cake, so called, because of the facility with which it 
could be prepared, to gratify the impatient appetites 
of those heathen deities, on their annual arrival at the 
delightful summer resorts or watering-places on the 
southern shores of the Atlantic, the chief of which were 
situated where the Narragansett Pier and Newport 
now stand. This name journey-cake was retained until 
the close of the War of Independence, about which 
time, in compliance with the prayers of memorials 
from the women of Connecticut and Rhode Island to 
the respective Legislatures of these commonwealths — 
the term journey, as applied to the favorite food of the 
gods and of the Yankee nation, was abrogated by sov- 
ereign authority, and that of jonny substituted in its 
place, in honor of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, the hon- 
ored and trusted friend of General Washington, who 
always addressed the sterling patriot with the affection- 
ate pet name of Brother Jonathan. It was for this latter 
reason that the whole Yankee nation, and especially 
New England, became finally sobriqueted, character- 
ized, and identified in the person of Brother Jonathan 
Trumbull, a plain, unassuming, honest, common-sense 
man, who resided in Lebanon, which is situated in the 
C 32 j 


south-eastern part of Connecticut, over which colony- 
he presided as Governor throughout the War of Inde- 
pendence, he being the only civil appointee under the 
Crown in all the thirteen colonies who retained his office 
until after the close of the war. When in full official 
dress, Brother Jonathan Trumbull looked very much 
as he is now represented, in what is generally supposed 
to be caricature. He was of a tall, gaunt form, and wore 
a swallow-tail homespun coat, manufactured in his 
family, out of wool raised on his own farm, and col- 
ored with maple bark procured from his own wood- 
pile, the dye being set with iron filings obtained from 
the blacksmith shop in the neighborhood. The coat 
was cut and made after the latest fashion, by the vil- 
lage tailor, who, traveling five miles on foot, brought 
his own goose and shears to Brother Jonathan's house, 
the latter finding wax, thread, and board, as was rul- 
able in those primitive days, and receiving in kind for 
his labor, one dollar for the making of a full dress coat, 
fifty cents per pair for trowsers, and twenty-five cents 
for each waistcoat, after which he, the ninth part of 
a man, cheerfully wended his way home as he came, 
with a bag of meal on one shoulder, a couple of pieces 
of salt pork slung on the other, and his goose and 
shears, with divers farm products, stowed about his 
person. Uncle Jonathan's shirt ruffles and necktie were 
spun, woven, bleached, and made by the hands of his 
wife, from flax of his own raising. His genteel, tight- 
fitting trowsers, reaching some six inches short of his 
ankles, were made of striped linsey-woolsey, likewise 
prepared and spun in his own family. His silver-buckled 
shoes were made by the hereditary shoemaker, who, like 

[ 33 ] 


the family tailor, brought his own lapstone, lasts, and 
shoe hammer on his back, from neats-hide sole leather 
and calf-skin, tanned with white oak bark to the halves 
at the neighborhood tanyard, from hides of the Gov- 
ernor's own raising. He, the shoemaker, received farm- 
ers' produce in exchange for his work, at the rate of 
from a peck to three pecks of corn or its equivalent 
in kind for each pair of shoes made, according to size. 
I may just here remark that not even excepting the 
annual visit to their homes of the tailor, the yearly au- 
tumnal visit of the shoemaker was looked forward to 
by all the little boys and girls of the olden time with 
the most unalloyed pleasure, and with raptures of de- 
light not conceivable by the young masters and misses 
of modern days. I can remember when the remnant 
of a wax end or a shiny piece of calf-skin leather of the 
size of a silver dollar thrown to me by the old shoe- 
maker, was more precious in my eyes than a bit of 
gold of the same size would be deemed by an average 
modern boy of this fast age. The only imported arti- 
cle of the court dress worn by Brother Jonathan was 
an exceedingly short, scanty, yellow nankeen waist- 
coat, th.e stuff for which was obtainable only at the 
quality ' ' stores, in exchange for flaxseed or some one 
or other of the very few products of the farm that were, 
in his and also in my early days, available for export 
to foreign markets. Everything then imported from 
Europe went by the name of boughten goods, which 
signified that they were entirely beyond the reach of 
the laboring classes, as they could only be obtained, as 
a general rule, in exchange for hard money, a thing 
not to be thought of by the vast majority in commu- 
te ] 


nities where all hand and farm work was paid for in 
kind — that is, in farm produce. 

I perceive that some dozen or less of the Journal cor- 
respondents have taken occasion to comment on my 
Rhode Island jonny-cake article that was printed in 
the paper of January 27, to none of which I think it 
absolutely necessary to demur except to some remarks 
made by an East Greenwich correspondent in the Jour- 
nal of the 30th ult. I am perfectly willing to admit that 
the white corn meal ground at the Old Forge Mill 
in Potowomut, must have been some pumpkins, as 
Grinnager, by implication, asserts. Otherwise, Gen- 
eral Greene, who was raised mostly upon that semi- 
ambrosia, could never have reached the second position 
among our Revolutionary worthies; but when your 
Grinnager goes on to charge that the Old Forge Mill 
fine soft meal is altogether better for jonny-cakes than 
the ambrosia of the sea-shore counties of Rhode Island, 
I hurl back the disparaging imputation with scorn. 
The fact is, had General Nat Greene first seen the 
light a few miles further south in Washington, instead 
of Kent county, where he could have been nurtured 
on the pure article, the probability is that he would 
never have let George Washington get ahead of him, 
who was raised on Indian cake made of coarse round 
meal, ground from Virginia corn and baked on the 
blade of a plantation hoe. Talk about Old Forge Mill 
ambrosia being superior to that made in Newport and 
Washington counties ! Fudge ! Why, it is but a few 
months ago that I handed a package of four pounds 
of ambrosia to a clerk in the Providence post office, and 
told him I wanted it forwarded by mail to my sick 

Z 35 ] 


daughter in California. He regarded the package with 
a look of surprise amounting to wonder, and then told 
me that it could not pass, as the article was not known 
in that office, nor could he find it named in the table of 
postage rates. Refusing to listen to my remonstrances, 
I next proceeded to the sanctum of the postmaster, who 
I think was born in Kent county, and made known to 
him my grievance. He at once arose in great excite- 
ment and confronted his delinquent subordinate. If 
I heard correctly all Mr. Bray ton 1 said, he upbraided 
his clerk in unmeasured terms for his stolid ignorance 
in not knowing the head under which ambrosia should 
be classed in the postal tariff of prices, and sternly 
ordered him to forward my package by the first fast 
express mail, and sooner, if possible, and place it on 
his books under the head of double refined gold-dust, 
adding that if he ever knew him to be guilty of so fla- 
grant a misdemeanor in the future he would turn him 
out of the office, even if he was necessitated to fill his 
place — for want of a better — with a Greenback Demo- 
crat ! At the time my daughter received the ambrosia 
she was confined to a sick bed, but such was the ex- 
hilaration of spirits inspired by the sight of the pack- 
age, that she immediately sat up, and being bolstered 
with pillows, proceeded at once to mix a jonny-cake, 
laughing and crying, as she subsequently wrote me, 
through emotional delight all the time she was doing 
it; next she called for a spirit lamp and tended its 
baking entirely herself, still continuing to laugh and 
cry by turns until it was nicely done. She then ate 
every mouthful of the precious ambrosia, laughing 
aloud after every swallow. When the feast was over, 
C 36 ] 


she sank back on her pillow and cried, because she had 
not another Rhode Island jonny-cake to eat; just as 
we read that after Alexander had subdued one world, 
he wept aloud because he had not another to conquer. 
I may just say here that Atlantis was not then known 
to the ancients. 

What, let me ask, has Grinnager got to say about 
his Old Forge Mill being superior to the ambrosia of 
the southern counties of Rhode Island in the face and 
eyes of such testimony as the foregoing, including that 
of a citizen of Warwick in his own county. 

What your Old Forge Mill correspondent farther 
alleges about Warrick and Grinnage being not only 
"the legitimate home of the jonny-cake, but the clam 
also, ' ' I might very properly defer to the senior con- 
ductor of the Journal, the long time-honored chairman 
of the Rhode Island fish committee, and the patron and 
defender by immemorial usage and divine right of that 
inestimable institution, the Rhode Island clambake, 
commencing at a period in shell-fish history to which 
the memory of man reacheth not back. But now that 
my dander is a little raised by Grinnager 's pretensions 
respecting the qualities of ambrosia, I will remark for 
the benefit of those whom it may concern, that the clams 
dug on the Warrick and Grinnage flats are not a whit 
superior, if they are so good, as those obtained at Wick- 
ford, in the South County, called formerly Clamtown, 
for the reason of the abundance and excellence of its 
bivalves, whilst they no more compare with the deli- 
cate lusciousness — round, plump, fat, sweet little blue 
shelled clams that are found, like angels' visits, few 
and far between, imbedded among clay and stones, on 

C 37 ] 


the shores of the east passage of Narragansett Bay, 
than a New York Saddle Rock, Shrewsbury, or Blue 
Point compares in exquisiteness with the ' ' great bed ' ' 
Providence River oysters of the olden time, before 
Rhode Island waters had been desecrated by trash 
brought from Chesapeake Bay and dumped therein. 
On looking closely at your correspondent's communi- 
cation I have placed at the commencement of this ar- 
ticle, I think I discern a sort of a sinister leer hidden 
under its fair seeming words, as if Old Cove would in- 
sinuate that he don't believe I can show how Phillis, 
my grandfather's cook, " overthrew governments in 
Europe," &c, to all of which I may say with Sancho 
Panza, "Hurry no man's cattle," "there is a time 
for all things," and with honest Jack Falstaff, that 
I will not give reasons " under compulsion," though 
they hang about me as thick as huckleberries in a 
Narragansett sheep pasture. Still I mean when the 
proper time arrives to make good my implied promise, 
and show that Phillis, the colored Narragansett cook, 
was, provided the authorities I shall quote can be relied 
upon, a remote, and, perhaps, a proximate cause of 
the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette. 

But this important branch of my subject I must 
defer to a future paper, and will conclude this by sim- 
ply observing in relation to what the Boston Post says 
about the prayer he proposes concocting with the 
view of obtaining a furlough from heaven when he 
gets there, to be allowed to come back to the south- 
ern shores of Rhode Island and feast on jonny-cake and 
the other good edibles nowhere else to be found, that 

t 38 3 


unless he minds his political p's and q's better in the 
future than he has done in the past, I think he had 
better frame his supplication with the view of keeping 
out of quite another place, where the atmosphere is 
said to be entirely too warm to bake jonny-cakes with- 
out blistering. 

[ 39 ] 

Third Baking 

HAVING, as I presume, annihilated in my last 
communication, Grinnager and his Old Forge 
Mill bogus jonny-cake, I will now proceed to show how 
my grandfather's cook, Phillis, was instrumental in in- 
augurating the French Revolution that led to the death 
on the scaffold of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette ! It 
was after this wise — but now I must pause a few mo- 
ments, as I perceive on reading the last paragraph in 
my first communication, that I intimated to the readers 
of the Journal that ' ' at some future time I might re- 
turn to the subject of jonny-cake and old-time cook- 
ery," as practiced by my grandfather's accomplished 
colored cook, before proceeding to relate the mode 
or manner of Phillis being the ' ' remote cause of the 
French Revolution, ' ' &c. So, to be as good as my word, 
I will return to the subject just where I left off, viz. : 
where the jonny-cake was left, which was thoroughly 
done, still resting on or against the red oak board be- 
fore the blazing fire. From this position it was removed 
by Phillis, and cut into six pieces. These were placed 
carefully and symmetrically in two even packages, the 
one on top of the other, on a pewter plate, and con- 
veyed by Margaret, the black waitress, hot to the 
breakfast table, without a moment's loss of time. 

Mark! I say, "pewter plate ; " none of your china 
or earthen dishes, for pewter has the quality of keeping 
things hot and nice, that is not inherent in any other 
known metal or material, besides possessing many 
other peculiar culinary and domestic qualities of great 

C 40 3 


value, among not the least of which is its not being 
liable to take the edge off the knives. The importance 
of this fact can only be fully comprehended by those 
unfortunate hosts who have been compelled by cir- 
cumstances to dissect in a hot day certain aged birds, 
or antediluvian joints, with a dull carving knife, in the 
presence of an appreciative company of strange guests. 
I remember being present in my early days on an oc- 
casion of this kind, wherein the trial of patience was 
too great for a highly approved member and high-seat 
elder of the self-denying Society of Friends to sustain, 
and who in the agony of spirit inspired by a dull carv- 
ing knife and a tough bird, gave way to a hasty, not 
to say unseemly expression, greatly to the annoyance 
and even consternation of the Friends present. It was 
after this wise : When in my seventh year, say about 
1804, my father was moved to take me with him to 
Friends quarterly meeting, held on the first fifth day 
after the second first day of the week in the eighth 
month, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in the old meet- 
ing-house in which that really great light of the world, 
George Fox, preached as "the spirit gave utterance," 
more than two centuries ago, I rode on horseback behind 
my father to the South Ferry in South Kingstown, a 
distance of seven miles. It was my first lengthyjourney, 
and I remember that I was lost in wonder at the great 
extent of the world. We passed over the two ferries, 
a distance in the aggregate of seven miles, which im- 
pressed me beyond description with a sense of the sub- 
lime grandeur and perils of the deep. But how shall I 
describe my sensations when we landed on the Ferry 
wharf in Newport, and walked up Thames street to 

[ 41 ] 


friend Ann Carpenter's, who lived in the north part of 
the brick house that is still standing not far from the 
Parade, the next south of the house and dry goods shop 
then occupied by honest old Job Sherman, and since 
then by his sons. I confess I was for a time beside 
myself with amazement ! Such lofty buildings ! I have 
since seen the dome of St. Peter's at Rome, and the 
top of Mont Blanc, neither of which I feel were half so 
high as was Trinity church steeple at that time. Such a 
magnificent display of goods of every description in the 
shop windows, and, above all others, the wooden rock- 
ing-horses, stuffed monkeys, spinning tops, red morocco 
play balls, marbles, and countless other curiosities then 
so highly prized by boys, all huddled together! I had 
ten coppers in my pocket, and longed to ask a man I 
saw standing in the door of a toy shop the price of his 
rocking-horse and stuffed monkey, but I could not 
muster courage enough to put the question to him, so 
deeply was I impressed with a feeling of awe, inspired 
by a sense of the grandeur of the owner of so many 
things of inestimable value. I have since seen Paris 
and London and divers other great cities on either con- 
tinent, but not one that compares in magnificence with 
what Newport then was, anymore than East Grinnage 
now compares with the city of New York. If any of the 
Providence readers of the Journal should, out of envy 
of Newport's former glories, question the truth of my 
assertions in these respects, I will obligate myself under 
heavy penalties to prove the truth of all I say, provided 
they will produce a witness to gainsay my averments 
under oath, who had at that period arrived at the legal 
age of twenty-one. 

C 42 1 


The next day, which was the fifth of the week, my 
father hired a horse and chaise of one friend Shaw, in 
Broad street, with which we proceeded to the Friends 
meeting-house, situated about eight miles from New- 
port, on the north-western declivity of Quaker Hill, in 
Portsmouth. I had seen a good many Quakers before, 
both at my grandfather's and our Tower Hill meeting- 
house, which used to stand in the elbow of the road 
near the present Tower Hill summer hotel ; but the 
innumerable company that was there assembled, all, 
of both sexes, arrayed in neat drab costume, gave me 
a glowing impression that the Quaker society was the 
most extensive, as regarded numbers, of all religious 
denominations in the world. I remember being deeply 
impressed with the reverential expression that rested 
on the countenance of the old man who sat at the head 
of the gallery, who, as will be perceived in due time, I 
afterwards learned was no other than the highly val- 
ued Friend and elder and excellent citizen, Christopher 
Almy, otherwise known to his neighbors as "old Kit 
Almy," father of the late William Almy, of the firm 
of Almy, Slater & Brown, who first introduced the 
manufacture of cotton into Rhode Island and America, 
and grandfather of the late Anne Almy Jenkins, who, 
as I know by ocular proof and demonstration, dwells 
among the brightest angels in heaven, not because she 
was a good Quakeress, but for the reason that she was 
a good, kind, sympathetic woman, and a friend to the 
poor and all those who were in want or distress, with- 
out regard to their creed, color, condition, or nation. I 
most vividly remember that William Crutch, a travel- 
ing public Friend from England, sat with his compan- 

C 43 ] 


ion next below old Christopher Almy in the high seat, 
and that I was almost scared to death, while in holding 
forth he signified there might be some present who had 
outlived the day of grace, and that a door of mercy 
might peradventure be no longer open for their repent- 
ance. Among such an assemblage of holy men and 
women as all appeared to be, I fancied I alone was the 
black sheep of the flock who had committed the un- 
pardonable sin, in many instances now brought in de- 
tail vividly to my remembrance, and I cried with fear 
and trembling until my handkerchief was so wet with 
tears, that I was afterwards ashamed to take it out of 
my pocket in company, not even when I sneezed. After 
meeting 2 Friend Almy asked my father to go home 
with him, and dine with the English Friends before he 
returned to Newport, which invitation was accepted. 
I well recollect that the day was excessively hot, the 
atmosphere partaking of that fervent, stifling heat, that 
often precedes thunder showers. When my father and 
I arrived at Friend Almy's, who lived on his ancestral 
farm now known as the Portsmouth Grove estate, in- 
stead of going into the great-room with my father and 
confronting the dreaded English Friend, I proceeded, 
boy fashion, to the garden, where I ensconced myself 
behind a big spreading gooseberry bush, and com- 
menced whetting my appetite for dinner with a goodly 
supply of luscious red gooseberries, such as in these 
degenerate days are seldom to be found. As I "was so 
employed, I saw, not without apprehension, Friend 
Almy making directly for the barn, and heard him 
mutter to himself as he passed, luckily without ob- 
serving me, in rather a deprecating tone, something 
[ 44 J 


about a "dozen Quaker horses in his cow pasture." 
When Friend Almy got to the barn, he found that his 
hired mowers and men had taken advantage of the 
extraordinary occasion and were recreating themselves 
for an hour or two before proceeding to the hay-field, 
with a fiddle and jews'-harp. This, of course, was very 
trying to the old man's feelings, as his best ten-acre 
lot then lay in swath, and the white cap of a thunder- 
cloud was just rising above the north-western horizon. 
When on his way back to the house, I was horror- 
stricken, on my hearing the exemplary and plainly 
dressed old Quaker soliloquizing in an undertone as 
he passed me, "These are heavenly times, I swear; 
a house full of Quakers and a barn full of fiddlers ! ' ' 
The better to prepare readers to understand and 
appreciate what follows, I will here say that what are 
called green geese — that is, gosling geese that have 
been fattened mostly on green grass — have always been 
esteemed a luxury appertaining solely to the islands 
in Narragansett Bay, notwithstanding anything that 
Grinnagers and Warrickers may advance to the con- 
trary. The eighth month being in season for this lux- 
urious edible, Friend Almy had it in his mind that the 
English Friends whom he expected to dine with him 
should have an opportunity to partake of one of Rhode 
Island's greatest luxuries; not perhaps without a streak 
of vanity passing through his mind, that they could 
not fail to acknowledge that there was no feathered 
fowl in all England whose flavor would compare with 
a Rhode Island green goose. With all this in view be- 
fore leaving home on the previous day, to go to New- 
port to meet and dine with the English Friends at David 

C 45 ] 


Buffum's, called the Quaker Bishop, because of his 
portly form, fine Quaker costume, and commanding 
figure and address, the old man had given orders to his 
Irish valet of all work to prepare a green goose for din- 
ner next day. Now it so happened that Friend Almy 
had been the possessor of a famous East India gander 
for more than the quarter of a century, that next to his 
wife and children he set more by than any other 
creature or thing on earth. So poor, unpractical man 
that he was in a knowledge of the Irish character — 
he thought it no more than prudent to caution Patrick 
by telling him to be sure and not hurt the old gander, 
which, as there was no goose in the flock any greener 
in plumage than the designated individual, was equiv- 
alent to a death warrant accompanied with a merciful 
caution to hurt the poor creature as little as possible 
in the killing. 

A sumptuous dinner had been provided for his 
numerous guests by Friend Almy, around which they 
were all seated, myself next to father. It may not be 
known to all the gentile readers of the Journal that 
it has always been the practice of Friends not to re- 
turn thanks for the good things God has provided, in 
words, before meals, but by sitting for a season in 
perfect silence, during which it is to be presumed the 
thoughts of all present mount upward in reverential 
gratitude for the good things before them. From what 
I had recently witnessed, readers may readily divine 
that my eyes though rather sideways and slily were 
riveted on the extraordinary countenance of our hos- 
pitable but sorely tried host, during the whole period 
of silence, and I am sure that were I to live to the age 
C 46 ] 


of ten Methuselahs, I should never forget the awful 
expression that rested on Friend Almy's features as he 
sat at the head of the table intently gazing on the car- 
cass of the extraordinary green goose before him. It 
was an expression that Hogarth I know would gladly 
have given the world to have been able to immortalize 
with his pencil, but at the same time with a positive 
conviction that the achievement must be one beyond 
the power of either mortal or angel artist to accomplish. 
After an expressive sigh from the English public 
Friend, indicating that sufficient thanks had been re- 
turned for the luxurious repast set before the Friends, 
Friend Almy hesitatingly arose from his seat, as was 
customary in the olden time for carvers to do, and after 
two or three stalwart and persistent efforts succeeded 
in planting the tines of a big fork midway in the breast 
of the goose before him, but unfortunately when he 
came to use the hereditary family carving knife, he 
found its edge had been so blunted by repeatedly com- 
ing in contact with china and earthen-ware platters, 
that with all his efforts he was not able to make it 
penetrate through the skin of the breast preparatory to 
removing the wing. Again and again the sorely tried 
host returned to the charge, changing occasionally in 
his desperation the back for the edge of his knife, but 
all in vain, while the perspiration rolled off his face in 
huge drops. The old man's trials were fast getting to 
a stage past the endurance of a Job. The thoughts of 
the fiddlers in the barn, of his ten acres of uncocked 
hay, of the troop of horses in his cow pasture, of the 
stupidity of his Irish valet, of the loss of his favorite 
pet goose, capped with the dull carving knife and tough 

C 47 ] 


bird before him, had been all struggling in his breast 
like the seven devils in Mary Magdalene, when a clap 
of thunder, sounding the knell of his lost ten acres of 
hay, suddenly burst on his ear. This put the climax 
on all his troubles, and making one more despairing 
effort to saw through the leathery skin of the goose, 
he dropped the knife, and in agony of spirit sank back 
in his chair with the unseemly valediction, "D — n the 
Old Gander." 

C 48 n 

Fourth Baking 

NOBODY but a Narragansettee can tell how 
many good dishes were made in the olden time 
out of Indian and rye meal. Jonny-cake, when placed 
on the table, exhibited many phases. There was the 
plain jonny-cake before described. Then it was made 
by Phillis into nice, plain, buttered toast, and again 
into toast covered all over with delicious curdled cream, 
butter, and milk, that made one's mouth water to look 
at it. Then there was the bannock, made of eggs, milk, 
and fine Indian meal, mixed thin and baked in a pan 
over the fire. By some, the bannock made of ambrosia 
is thought to rival and even exceed in exquisiteness 
of delicacy and flavor the jonny-cake. I have already 
spoken of the grand old Rhineinjun bread of southern 
Rhode Island, but not of the toothsome dry and milk 
toasts made with it. Then again, there was the Rhine- 
injun jonny-cake, and the all-rye jonny-cake, the rye 
doughnut, all-rye hasty-pudding, and rye gingerbread, 
prized above rubies by the school-boys and girls of 
the olden time, when such things as children existed 
on earth. The rye raised on the sea-coast of New Eng- 
land, here let me remark, and especially that grown on 
the southern coasts of Rhode Island, in the range of the 
balmy, soft Gulf Stream breezes and atmosphere, is 
entirely different grain from what is grown in the South 
and West, the former being deliciously sweet to the 
palate, while the latter has but little if any taste at all. 
New En gland rye seems to correspond in some respects 
with the delightful sweet-corn raised in the same sea- 

C 49 ] 


coast latitudes, both in taste and complexion, the grains 
of both, the rye alike with the Indian sweet-corn, be- 
ing shrunk or shriveled. South of about the forty-first 
degree of latitude, the sweet-corn of New England 
becomes an exotic, it being necessary that the seed 
should be obtained annually from the north to insure 
even an approximate degree of sweetness to that which 
attaches to the grain spontaneously when raised in 
New England's congenial clime, and especially on the 
southern shoresof the Ancient Atlantis, viz. : Washing- 
ton and Newport counties in Rhode Island. People liv- 
ing in cities can know but little of the exquisite flavor 
of the early red-cobbed sweet-corn, or of the later white- 
cobbed evergreen , for the reason that the market is sup- 
plied with ears of corn gathered some hours before it is 
eaten. Old Phillis' method of boiling green-corn was 
first to set her pot of water boiling, drawn fresh and 
sparkling from the bubbling well, 3 whilst she took the 
outside husks from the ears of corn just gathered by 
old mill-boy, fresh from the stalk in the green-corn 
patch, back of the barn, leaving a few of the inside 
husks on the outside of each ear, and then plunging 
them instanter into the boiling water before the sweet- 
ness had departed. How many ears of Phillis' corn, pre- 
pared after this fashion, a small boy could eat with a 
fair amount of sweet, fragrant, aromatic butter, I can- 
not say, for although Phillis always boiled a bushel pot 
full of green-corn at once, I could never manage to get 
enough fully to satisfy my appetite. As for the green 
sweet-corn, when nicely roasted before a green hard- 
wood fragrant fire, I used to think when a small boy 
that I could have eaten at least two bushels of it could 

C so] 


I have got all I wanted. So, too, with succotash, the 
Indian for dried sweet-corn and beans, which my 
grandmother used to always caution me about eating 
too much of, as she had once known a naughty boy 
who burst asunder in the middle from having eaten too 
heartily of the tempting dish. If possible, the heavenly 
old cook's rye griddle-cakes, as well as her wholly rye 
jonny-cakes, were sweeter than newly gathered boiled 
or roasted green-corn. It used to be said by the old ne- 
groes in my grandfather's kitchen that in time of the 
War of the Revolution the old women of Narragansett 
used rye jonny-cake instead of sugar to sweeten their 
hard-hack tea with. 

Then again, in the olden time, we used to have 
the suet jonny-cake and the half and half flour and 
Indian jonny-cake, both very delightful for a change. 
But oh, them pumpkin jonny-cakes, to say nothing of 
the famous old-time pumpkin pies and the nice little 
round pumpkin griddle-cakes, which would be held 
cheap in this day at a silver dollar of the same weight 
avoirdupois apiece. Talk about your Hubbard and 
other sweet squashes as you will, I say upon the best 
authority, no less than that of Phillis,my grandfather's 
accomplished cook, that the little sugar pumpkin of 
Rhode Island is as far superior in sweetness and divine 
flavor to any squash that ever grew out-doors or in a hot- 
house to boot, as a sweet watermelon is to a cucumber. 
I remember when a horse dealer from Virginia by the 
name of Walkins came to my grandfather's to buy 
Narragansett pacers, whilst riding down the lane he 
chanced to see a nice looking sweet pumpkin in the 
corn-field, which, mistaking for a melon, he got over 

[ 51 3 


the fence and using his jack-knife, cut and ate every 
mouthful of it, rind and all, except the seeds, which he 
put in his pocket to carry home, at the same time de- 
claring that he never tasted so delicious a melon south 
of Mason and Dixon's line. 

But above all other edibles, in the estimation of the 
olden-time children of Narragansett, loomed up the 
huckleberry jonny-cake, which, to be first-rate, must 
be made half and half of meal and fresh gathered ripe 
berries. Phillis used to say there was nothing she 
" 'spised " more than a huckleberry jonny-cake with 
no huckleberries in it. It used to be held in Narra- 
gansett that the faces of little boys and girls that were 
fed during the whole berry season on half and half 
huckleberry jonny-cake grew into the shape of a smile 
that remained until berries came again the next sum- 

In fact, I remember when a small boy calling with 
my father on an errand at Mr. Stedlar's, whose wife 
had just mixed and put on the barrel-head board a 
huckleberry' jonny-cake, which lay unbaked on the 
table, preparatory to being placed before the fire. No less 
than eight children of all sexes and sizes soon entered, 
whom I had observed making mud-pies near the sink 
gutter as we approached the house. Each of these by 
turn gave the cake several affectionate pats with their 
dripping hands as they looked me blandly in the face 
and exclaimed in triumphant tones, — Huckleberry- 
jonny-cake! accompanied with a self-congratulatory, 
telling smile. On my father remarking on their happy 
expression of countenance, the mother told him that the 
year before she had fed all her children for six entire 

C 52 ] 


days wholly on huckleberry jonny-cakes, and that she 
found a smile had remained on their countenances 
every moment of time both when awake and asleep for 
just six months thereafter. Mrs. Stedlar further said 
that she had intended to feed her children on huckle- 
berry jonny-cakes that summer for twelve days in suc- 
cession, so that they would continue to smile the twelve 
months round, but that she should have to give it up 
after that day, which was the ninth since she began, 
as she found they laughed in their sleep so loud and 
long that they kept their old grandmother awake all 
night ! 

Then again there was the Indian baked pudding 
made of ambrosia, milk, and eggs, with a trifle of 
Muscovado sugar or Portorique molasses. I can re- 
member when I could eat near upon a six-quart pan 
of this delicious viand and then cry for more. Still 
again there was the huckleberry and blackberry baked 
and boiled pudding, and the green fox-grape boiled 
pudding, none of your tasteless catawba or Isabella 
insipids, all eaten with luscious brown sugar sauce. 
I can remember when the thought that I was to have 
a green fox-grape pudding for supper after my return 
from school would make me hop, skip, run, and jump 
all the way home, more than two miles, without stop- 
ping to take breath. But then these were days when 
boys and girls had a childhood, not like the present 
times, when every little defaulting devil is born with 
the idea that he is to be a member of Congress, a 
lawyer, a doctor, a minister, a millionaire thief, or a jail- 
bird of some other sort, before he is squarely out of 
his swaddling-clothes. In fact, it is not many years 

C 53 ] 


since, that old nurse Gardiner, after making the re- 
mark that children were now born with their eyes wide 
open, instead of closed like kittens, as formerly, told 
me of an instance wherein she went as a three weeks' 
nurse of a young devil who was born at nine o'clock 
of a Saturday evening, whom she observed at daylight 
on the next morning, criticising the portrait of his 
mother that hung on the wall opposite, evidently mak- 
ing odious comparisons between it and the lady at his 
side, to whom the ten-hour-old gentleman had conde- 
scended to surrender the occupancy for a limited period 
of a small portion of his bed. When the precocious 
chap caught nurse Gardiner's eye, she said he clapped 
the fore-finger of his left hand on the side of his nose 
and with a knowing wink pointed first to the picture 
and then to his mother, with his right hand, and sig- 
nified in pantomime, that he considered the former a 
very much flattered likeness. 

Then again, there was the hasty pudding, not the 
half-cooked knotty stuff" of modern days, but nice faith- 
fully stirred, well-boiled pudding without any two par- 
ticles of ambrosia sticking together in it. Phillis used 
to say there was "nothing on airth she 'spised so as 
lumpy, half-raw, half-burned hasty pudding." People 
nowadays don't know how to eat hasty pudding and 
milk. A spoon should be dipped into the milk before 
it lifts the pudding, to keep it from sticking, which 
should then be dropped into the porringer of milk, so 
as each mouthful shall remain separate. 

When cold, Phillis used to fry her hasty pudding 
in the nicest fresh butter, which made it a dish, as 
she said, fit to set before a king. She used to say there 

C 54 ] 


was ' ' nothing she 'spised more than nigger cooks who 
used rancid butter for cooking," and that for her part, 
if she had to use bad butter at all, she wanted to set 
it in separate pewter plates on the table, so that folks 
might eat it or not, just as they chose, and not mix 
it with all the dishes in cooking, so that they would 
be obliged to eat it or starve. I would like to resurrect 
Phillis and take her to one of our first-class hotels where 
hasty pudding is fried in half-raw patent clarified lard. 
I was in Philadelphia a few years ago when several 
barrels of this clarified lard were seized by the police 
while in transit to the New York market. A French- 
man who manufactured the lard was then put on trial, 
when it was disclosed in evidence that his method was 
to visit all the western railroad depots on the arrival 
of freight trains, and drag the wounded, sick, and dead 
hogs out of the ankle-deep filth in the cars, and throw 
them, unwashed, into great steam boilers, and thus 
extract the lard, which was afterwards skimmed and 
separated from the refuse, &c, and clarified, when it 
was labeled as the purest and best of lard, and sent 
to market to regale the appetites of the snobs and epi- 
cures in our great cities. A friend of mine told me 
that he was personally cognizant of the same process 
being practiced on a great scale in Cincinnati, as it 
probably is in many other places. 

Then again, there was the never-absent dish in good 
families of old, milk porridge, a luxury of surpassing 
excellence when rightly concocted and cooked, that 
must be reckoned among the lost arts in these hurrying, 
money-getting and universal-thievery, food-spoiling 
and food-bolting days. Many a time have I sat by, 

c 55 : 


when a boy, watching old Phillis as she made this 
delicious beverage. First, she boiled the water, always 
drawn fresh, buoyant, and sparkling from the well; 
none of your poison leaden pipe, or wooden pump, 
dead and alive wells, or water works, but a real old- 
fashioned well, every stone of which was coated with 
life-given green moss, with a frog or two seated near 
the bottom, which was ever vitalized and kept alive 
and fresh by the plunges and splashings of the old 
oaken bucket hanging at the end of the pole of a big, 
long well-sweep, balanced at the further end with a 
pile of stones. Into the boiling water she carefully sifted 
through the fingers of her left hand the flour of am- 
brosia, if for the sick, and if for common purposes the 
second sifting, which she stirred with a pudding-stick, 
held in her right hand, so artistically, that no two 
grains of the meal were ever known to adhere together. 
Phillis used to carry a magnifying glass of some twenty- 
five hundred or as many thousand horse-power, I dis- 
remember which, with which she from time to time 
surveyed the boiling compound, nor did she commence 
adding the rich new milk until every separate minute 
particle of the ambrosia had become transparent and 
sufficiently expanded in dimensions to enable her to dis- 
cern the image of her own nose fully reflected there- 
from. So exquisite was this compound that I have 
known one pint porringer of Phillis' milk porridge to 
work a complete and instant cure of the blues, and 
that of the worst kind. In fact, the old woman used to 
tell a story of Sol Smith, who once stopped in my grand- 
father's kitchen to warm, whilst on his way to hang 
himself on the limb of a sour apple tree in our lower 

C 56] 


orchard, about some love affair, just as she was finish- 
ing off a pot of porridge. Phillis said he looked so woe- 
begone-like that she gave him a porringer of her por- 
ridge, which was not more than half finished, when he 
took a rope with a noose braided on one end out of his 
pocket and threw it to Phillis to mend her clothes-line 
with as he said, accompanied with the remark that 
Almira might marry as many other fellows as she 
wanted to, and he wouldn't mind, so long as he could 
get ' ' such porridge as them was. ' ' In such high esteem 
was the milk porridge of the olden time held by Narra- 
gansettees that since my memory they always spoke 
of it in the plural number. No ordinary man or woman 
in Narragansett ever said in those days, "Please give 
me a little more of that porridge," but, "Please give 
me a few more of them porridge." 

Then again, there was the samp — coarse hominy 
pounded in a mortar — and the great and little hominy, 
all Indian dishes fit to be set before princes and gods. 
But what shall I say of the hulled corn of old ? None 
of your modern tasteless western corn, hulled with 
potash, but the real, genuine ambrosia, hulled in the 
nice sweet lye made from fresh hard oak and maple- 
wood ashes. I remember when a bowl or porringer 
of hulled corn and milk was a thousand times more 
relished by me than any dish I can now find at 
any hotel in the United States. Narragansett hulled 
corn and beans was in those days ten thousand times 
as good, as I remember, as the best pork and beans 
ever cooked in Boston town of that day, or in Boston 
city of the present dishonest, defaulting age. Then 
again, there was the great Indian dish called no-cake, 

C 57 ] 


in which was concentrated such inexpressible sweet- 
ness and life-sustaining power that the aborigines of 
New England, when hunting or on the warpath, could 
carry forty days' provisions each on their backs with- 
out inconvenience. 

The No-cake family, the last survivors of the famous 
Narragansett Indians, have recently, I think, with 
one exception, become extinct in Washington county, 
where the scanty remnants of the tribe were located, 
on the Indian reserve in Charlestown. 

No-cake was made of pounded parched Indian corn. 
Curious enough, I can remember when the eating of 
no-cake and milk was considered somewhat a test in 
Narragansett of good breeding. To be eaten gracefully, 
no-cake must be placed very carefully on the top of the 
milk, so as to float, and a novice, in taking a spoon- 
ful of it to his mouth, is very liable to draw his breath, 
when the semi-volatile substance enters his throat in 
advance of the milk and causes violent strangling or 
sneezing. An expert in the art places the spoonful of 
milk with the no-cake floating upon the top, carefully 
into his mouth , and mixes them together without draw- 
ing his breath until he swallows. I well remember the 
old no-cake mortar that used to stand in my grand- 
father's kitchen, upside down when not in use, so as 
to serve for a seat. I think it would hold half a gallon 
of parched corn, or more, which was pounded Math a 
heavy double-headed pestle, for lack of one made of 
stone, as used by the Indians. This mortar was made 
of unsplitable wood, known as gumwood or horn- 
beam, the heart of which is absolutely without grain 
running in any direction. Old Tom Griswold once de- 
C 58 ] 


scribed horn-beam, after burying every wedge at the 
woodpile in a short log without cracking it, as being 
made of "double and twisted lignum vitae sawdust, 
spun cross-banded, wove kairsy, cussed at both ends, 
and damned in the middle." 

It was Themillboy's — the mill-boy— only work to 
shell the corn for family use ; go once a week every 
Friday to mill, and pound the no-cake. These com- 
prised all his duties. Themillboy's age was uncertain. 
He had gone by the name during at least three gen- 
erations of the family. When queried with, all that 
could be got out of the old darkey was that he never 
had any name but Themillboy. Nor did he know where 
he was born, if in fact he was ever born at all — rather 
thought not — guessed he was landed on Pint Judy 
out of his father Noah's ark ; guessed he was the only 
nigger aboard; didn't see no other; didn't see no 
nigger woman there ; guessed there might have been 
and not seen her, as it was pretty dark, and he did n't 
move about much for fear of the crocodiles and snakes. 
My grandfather always had a number of Bible chap- 
ters read in his kitchen every Sunday afternoon, which 
renders it possible that Themillboy may have con- 
founded the ark with the hold of the slave-ship in which 
he may have been brought from Guinea. Themillboy 
said he remembered going to mill for my grandfather's 
father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and always 
went to mill on Old Baldface, whose fastest gait was 
three-quarters of a mile an hour. A hundred years ago 
Themillboy said he used to carry a bushel of corn on 
Old Baldface in one end of a bag and a big stone in the 
other to balance it. As near as could be gathered from 

[ 59 3 


his incoherent words, about that time an innovation 
was made by which the use of the balancing-stone was 
abolished, greatly to Themillboy's annoyance, who said 
that after that he was obliged to shell an additional 
bushel of corn every time he went to mill to balance 
the other bushel, instead of using the old meal-bag 
stone as he had always done before. Themillboy said 
that the poor folks alike with him complained of the 
change, for the reason that when they had worked to 
buy a bushel of corn they were obliged to work as 
much longer to buy another bushel to balance it with 
on their shoulder before they could go to mill, whereas 
they formerly used a stone that cost them nothing. 
That balancing-stone was made of granite. The mill- 
boys, or rather mintboys, of this day propose making 
one of silver. 

Phillis always put the parched corn in the gumwood 
mortar and set Themillboy to pounding it as he sat in 
the corner in an armed easy-chair. Whether sleeping 
or waking, when Themillboy once began pounding 
he never ceased until Phillis touched his right arm, 
when the mortar was emptied and again replenished 
with parched corn. Phillis touched Themillboy's left 
arm, when he would again begin to pound. On one 
occasion Phillis forgot her no-cake and went to bed, 
leaving Themillboy pounding. In the morning she 
found him fast asleep and still at work. One Friday 
Themillboy went to mill with his grist as usual. Old 
Baldface arrived home and went up to the accustomed 
horse-block the same as ever. When black Pomp went 
to help Millboy off with his grist, he found him sitting 
bolt upright on Old Baldface, stiff, stark, and dead. 

C so 2 


My grandfather had Themillboy decently buried in 
the family negro burying-ground. 

The next Friday, Themillboy not going to the pas- 
ture bar-way to call Old Baldface as usual to go to mill, 
the affectionate animal came to the house to look for 
his friend and long-time companion. Not being able 
to find Themillboy, Old Baldface refused to eat or be 
comforted, and was found dead beside the horse-block 
the next morning. He was buried close beside The- 

Abe, who, though reputed to be a begotten son of 
the Devil, was nevertheless a born preacher and knew 
the Old Testament by heart, performed the funeral ser- 
vices at the grave, taking his text from Samuel 1st 
chap. 23d verse: "Saul and Jonathan were lovely and 
pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were 
not divided : They were swifter than eagles; they were 
stronger than lions.'''' Abe's sermon on the occasion was 
very touching and eloquent, he dwelling mostly on the 
words of the text I have italicized. To show our high 
appreciation of Abe's discourse, the six little niggs and 
niggresses and I made up for the preacher a stocking 
full of pop-corn and roasted red potatoes. After The- 
millboy 's decease, Phillis' jonny-cakes fell off consid- 
erably in quality and were not so good as before. She 
gave as a reason that nobody but he and Old Baldface 
could get as good meal from the mill as they did. 

Corn biscuit, or pound cake, another Indian meal 
luxury, used to be made with one pound of butter, one 
pound of sugar, ten eggs, and a pint of new milk, with 
enough ambrosia to mould it into thin cakes. Then 
there was the whitpot, differing but little from the com- 
[ 61 ] 


mon baked Indian pudding, except that it is mixed 
very thin, and baked very slowly and a great while, so 
that the milk, eggs, and molasses form a jelly through- 
out the whole pudding. Then there was the pop-corn, 
made of four-rowed ears that were chosen because they 
were the driest thrown out of the corn that was shelled 
in the kitchen one evening in every week by Themill- 
boy , Abe, myself, and the six little niggs and niggresses 
who were always on hand to assist. After the corn was 
all shelled, we each and all built a house on the kitchen 
hearth with our own cobs, and named it "Cob Town." 
The one who counted the most cobs was then crowned 
with a pewter porringer by Themillboy, and declared 
King of Cob Town. When I happened to be crowned 
king, I felt enough sight bigger than old Grant or Bo- 
naparte, especially when I came to order my soldiers 
of both sexes to storm and set fire to every house in the 
town, which was done with a will amidst loud cheers 
and hurrahs. 

Then came the popping of the corn — a quantity of 
which being buried by Pomp and Scip in piles of hot 
wood ashes, soon began to fly in all directions over the 
kitchen floor. Such a tumbling, romping, and scram- 
bling for the white caps, such a yelling, roaring, shout- 
ing, shrieking, scratching, and screaming with excite- 
ment and delight as burst from the very hearts of the 
little niggs, niggresses, and I, cannot be conceived of 
in this fast age of proprieties and absence among chil- 
dren of all that is natural, delightful, and lovely. Why, 
let me tell you , quality folks, there used to be in the olden 
time, when I was a boy, more real, genuine, live fun 
in a Narragansett kitchen of a long winter evening, 

r. 62 : 


than there is now in all the ball-rooms, opera houses, 
and theatres in North America in a twelve-month. 

When I come to speak of the Indian meal dumpling, 
that indispensable adjunct of all roast meat dinners in 
the olden time, I cannot but perceive that I am draw- 
ing nearer to the time when I must tell how Phillis 
was the "remote cause of the French Revolution, and 
the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, ' ' which 
I must defer to another paper. 

c eg : 

Fifth Baking 

INDIAN dumplings were, in the olden time, held 
to be such an indispensable accompaniment of all 
roasted dishes that Lewis Clarke, known as the Quaker 
Friar, because of his epicurism, used to say, that if he 
had nothing but a roasted potato for dinner, he should 
want an Injun dumpling with it. 

It used to be said by those who knew, that Lewis 
Latham Clarke was about the same height in person 
as the late Jack FalstafF, but a good deal fatter. To re- 
duce his weight so that his horse could carry him from 
Peleg Gardiner's, where he boarded, to Friends meet- 
ing on first days, and thence to John Dockray's, John 
Robinson's, and Rowland Hazard's, where, in those 
hospitable days, he was accustomed to dine from five 
to seven days in the week, old Doctor Aldrich advised 
him to take exercise by working in the garden. A few 

C 64 ] 


days after this inpassingby Mr. Gardiner's, Iobserved 
Lewis sitting in a cushioned arm-chair in the garden, 
weeding cabbages with a pair of kitchen tongs. It was 
said that through the Lathams, Lewis was connected 
by descent with Louis XV of France. 

There used to be, in the olden time, three old Irish 
school-masters in Narragansett, all noted for their good 
breeding and gentlemanly manner, by the names of 
Master Kelly, Master Ridge, and Master Slaughter. 
An anecdote used to be told of one of these, I forget 
which, who happened to call for a dinner at some tav- 
ern on Little Rest Hill, where the waggish landlord, 
to try his politeness to the utmost, sat before him no- 
thing but cold Indian dumplings. On his apologizing 
to his guest for the meagreness of the fare, the old 
gentleman remarked, in reply, that he had " eat a bet- 
ter dinner than the one he was partaking, and he had 
eat a worse." 

Speaking of roasted dishes brings to my mind the 
old-fashioned way of roasting meats and poultry, as 
practiced in the height of perfection by Phillis, my 
grandfather's pattern cook. Narragansetters of the 
olden time, who could not afford to keep a turn-spit 
boy, used to suspend their joints of meat or poultry 
against the fire with a string, one end of which was 
fastened to a nail driven into the ceiling above, and 
the other tied around the meat or to the legs of the 
fowl or bird, so as to bring them into the right position 
before the fire. It was the housewife's duty, as often as 
she basted the viand in her charge, to give this string 
a good twist with her fingers, so that when she let go 
her hold the roasting meats would fly with the rebound 

C 65 ] 


in a contrary direction, and continue to vibrate to and 
fro until the momentum contributed by the twist was 
exhausted, by which time the busy housewife would 
be ready to baste and repeat the twisting again. This 
mode was found to have a serious objection that 
attends the imperfect roasting or rather baking pro- 
cess of meats in modern iron ovens, viz. : The juices, 
of course, settling down into the lower portions of the 
roast, rendering it greasy, whilst the upper portion 
became dry and tasteless, something like, though not 
so bad, as we find roasts at most tables the present 
day, including those of merchant princes, rich rail- 
road lawyers and receivers, and our first-class hotels. 
To obviate this sore imperfection incident to the string 
roasting, an old sinner by the name of Ephe Hazard, 
who had a palate inside his mouth, invented what was 
called the "double string meat roaster," whereby the 
bight of a small cord was passed over a smooth round 
piece of wood arranged horizontally just below the ceil- 
ing above, whilst its two pendant ends were fastened 
the one to the leg and the other to the neck of the fowl, 
or to the lower end and upper extremities of the joint 
of meat. A small stick some three inches in length was 
tied to one of the strings, so as to make it very con- 
venient for an attendant, with its aid, to put a sharp 
twist into the machine without much trouble, always 
preceded by drawing the strings downward and up- 
ward alternately so as to reverse the ends of the joint 
or bird, and thus cause the juices to constantly pass to 
and fro. 

But Phillis managed matters differently. In my 
grandfather ' s huge kitchen fireplace there always stood, 
[ 66 ] 


as I remember well, a pair of high iron dogs, each fur- 
nished with three turned-up lips some three inches 
apart, so as to raise or lower the spit which rested upon 
them. On the spit was skewered the roasting joint or 
fowl and placed a convenient distance from the blaz- 
ing fire, made of green oak, maple, or walnut wood, 
with a back-log, if my memory serves , ranging in length 
and size with a boiler of a seventy-five horse-power lo- 
comotive, except on holidays when the Christmas back- 
log was a heap sight bigger. Behind the spit of roast- 
ing meat was placed a pewter platter to reflect back 
the heat rather larger in circumference than the hind 
wheel of the eight-horse Concord coach. This spit was 
always from the first start slowly and regularly turned 
by the boy Abe, old Pomp, the nigger fiddler, sitting 
on the hither end of the back-log with a hoe handle 
in his hand, with which he gave Abe a poke in the 
ribs as often as he forgot himself and turned the spit 
too slow ; whilst Scip, the black fifer, used to sit on the 
farther end of the log armed with a long rake-stail with 
which he gave Abe a punch in the midriff whenever 
he turned the spit too fast, Phillis in the meantime con- 
stantly basting the meat without a moment's relaxa- 
tion, except when she fetched Abe an occasional swipe 
across his eyes with her dishcloth as a sort of general 
reminder. When tin ovens began to come into vogue, 
my grandfather thought to lessen Phillis' work and 
bought one for her use ; but she, at first sight of the 
machine, roundly declared that she would never spile 
a good joint of meat in such a stifled-up thing, which 
she believed was an invention of the Devil that he kept 
in his kitchen to roast cooks in who blistered jonny- 

[ 67 ] 


cake and made bad coffee. Next, in order to lighten 
Abe's, Pomp's, and Scip's onerous duties, my grand- 
father had a smoke-jack put up in the kitchen chimney 
to turn the spit. But this, too, Phillis utterly eschewed, 
maintaining that Abe was a good enough smoke-jack 
for her, and if there was anything on airth she " 'spised 
more than another, it was a shut-up tin oven and an 
everlasting creaking smoke-jack ;" so my grandfather 
submitted to Phillis' dictation with the best grace he 
could, and sold the jack for old iron, whilst he swapt 
away the tin oven with a peddler for half a dozen milk 
pans, which had just begun to take the place in dairy 
work of the good old-time sweet cedar keelers. 

Talk of the roast meats, roast poultry, and roast wild 
duck and other feathered game of these days of sulphur- 
ous coal and iron stoves, and French and Irish cooks! 
Why the comparing of Hyperion to a satyr is as wide 
as the poles are apart from conveying a proper idea of 
the difference between a second cut or sirloin of fat, 
juicy beef, roasted by Phillis, with a Yorkshire pud- 
ding beneath it to catch the drippings, and the same 
article as it is baked or burned rather than roasted 
by most of the professional cooking artists of the pres- 
ent day. So too with a roast saddle of mutton, a bris- 
ket of nice, fat, six weeks old veal, — next to a Rhode 
Island turkey the best roast dish in the world, — a quar- 
ter of a lamb, or a haunch of venison. No one living 
who was not born in the last century has any proper 
conception of the amount of good things that God has 
provided for man, for the reason that for three-quar- 
ters of a century or more, the Devil has busied him- 
self in insinuating modern labor-saving machines, and 
C 68 ] 


foisting upon us a host of foreign cooks of his own 
breeding. Then when we come to poultry and game! 
I will for the present forbear speaking of that king of 
all birds, whether of the wild game or farm-yard spe- 
cies, the Rhode Island turkey! Should I ever feel my- 
self at all competent to do that glorious thing justice 
after it had passed through the hands of Phillis, I may 
venture on the sublime theme again before I close this 
part of my subject. Then Phillis' roasted ducks ! Their 
juiciness, the divine exquisiteness of their seasoning, 
for, as Lewis the Quaker Friar was wont to say, even 
a duck without stuffing was nothing but a duck ; their 
ravishing sweetness, their enrapturing flavor, and, 
above all, their glorious fascinating complexion when 
immediately after Abe's last turn of the spit they were 
brought by Margaret smoking hot to the table. 

If Titian, the great Venetian artist, had not died two 
centuries before Phillis was in her prime, I would have 
sworn he could nowhere else have obtained a know- 
ledge of the exquisite tint he has imparted to the 
coloring of his beautiful female brunettes that grace 
the picture galleries of Venice and Bologna, but by a 
close inspection and a profound study of the complexion 
of Phillis' roasted ducks. Nor was she less successful 
in preparation and roasting of all kinds of game, wild 
and domestic, fish and fowl, large and small. I cannot 
recall to mind the exact time when a young friend of 
my grandfather chanced to pass a night at our house. 
He was fond of shooting, and prided himself on his 
skill as a sportsman, and his discriminating taste in 
respect to the quality of game and the pleasures of the 
table. He arrived past the middle of the afternoon, and 

C 69 J 


shortly after went out with his pointer and gun to 
reconnoitre. After an hour's absence he returned with 
two birds in his bag, the one a woodcock, the other 
a crow. My grandfather handed the birds to Abe and 
told him to prepare the woodcock for Phillis, that she 
might roast it for the young gentleman's breakfast, he 
intending to leave the next morning at an early hour. 
Abe, who, as I have related before, was a begotten son 
of the Devil, took in, as he supposed, the situation at 
once, arguing in his own mind that as the young man 
would be up and gone in the morning before any of 
the "great-room" folks were stirring, he might safely 
keep the woodcock for his own delectation, and have 
the less fragrant bird roasted for the stranger guest. 
In the meantime my grandfather had given orders to 
Phillis about getting his young friend's breakfast ready 
at an early hour, with a charge that she should do her 
best in the matter of roasting the woodcock. Accord- 
ingly Phillis was up at dawn of day, and taking the 
game bird, which she thought had a wonderful sus- 
picious look, from the larder, she proceeded to stuff 
and anoint it for roasting, after her very best fashion, 
Abe in the meantime turning the spit as usual, although 
as Phillis several times remarked to him, he seemed 
to be in an uncommon grimacing humor. It would 
have done a philanthropist's heart good to have seen 
the youthful New York sportsman enjoy the game he 
had bagged, every moudiful of which he swallowed 
with a gusto, picking the bones and grinding the 
smaller ones with his teeth until there was scarcely a 
vestige of the bird left in the dish. When he took leave 
of Phillis and Abe, he handed each of them a quar- 

C 7° ] 


ter of a dollar and remarked that he had never tasted 
so exquisite a dish of any kind of game before in all 
his life, and that if Phillis would come to New York 
and cook for his club at Tontine Coffee House, he could 
insure her wages enough to drive a coach and six, at- 
tended by some half a dozen colored footmen and out- 
riders. Nor was this all, for a few days afterward my 
grandfather received a letter from his young friend in 
which he dwelt enthusiastically on the great treat he 
had received in Narragansett, closing with the request 
that my grandfather would accept from him a pair of 
canvas-back ducks that he had just forwarded via 
Newport by packet, as a trifling acknowledgment of 
his hospitality and of the wonderful skill in the prepa- 
ration and roasting of woodcock possessed by his in- 
estimable, colored cook. 

The canvas-back ducks arrived safely in due sea- 
son, and were roasted by Phillis in her best fashion 
to supplement a dinner, the chief ingredient of which 
was a saddle of real home-raised Rhode Island wether 
mutton, which, as everybody knows, is by all odds a 
thousand times better than any other mutton in the 
world. After the mutton was removed, the canvas- 
backs were brought on the table smoking hot, and 
done to a turn and a charm, in every particular. The 
mutton, however, had proved so delicious, that none 
of the great-room folks did more than taste a morsel 
of the game ducks, and the whole of one and more 
than half of the other went to the kitchen table. In less 
than a quarter of an hour thereafter all six of the little 
niggs and niggresses came to the great-room door, 
every one sniveling and complaining to my grand- 
C 71 1 


mother that cross old Phillis would n't give them any 
mutton to eat and wanted them to make their dinner 
on them old canvas-backs ! 

As I have got too near the close of this paper to fin- 
ish telling how Phillis, my grandfather's cook, was the 
remote cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, I will defer that 
interesting topic to another paper, and go back to the 
Rhode Island turkey, which, as everybody knows, as 
well as other readers of the Journal, sells in the Boston 
market for three cents per pound higher than any other 
turkey. This is owing, in part, to the manner of rais- 
ing, feeding, and dressing the turkey in Rhode Island, 
and in part to the salubrious and genial Gulf Stream 
atmosphere, let Grinnager say what he may, that pre- 
vails in the southern part of the Ancient Atlantis, now 
called Newport county and Narragansett. The real 
Rhode Island turkey is large in size, and black and 
shiny in aspect. He eats plentifully of milk curdled 
with rennet when in infancy, and in boyhood feeds 
largely on grasshoppers, better known in the olden 
time as hoppergrasses . The curdled milk, whether sour 
or sweet before adding the rennet is immaterial, keeps 
the infant turkey from the gasps and the bowel com- 
plaint, which in its absence, or if fed on milk that sours 
itself, with no rennet added to rectify, carries off great 
numbers of the younglings at about the age of three 
or four weeks. 

After the season of grasshoppers is over, turkeys 

should be fed to the full on hard, sound Rhode Island 

corn, which is incomparably richer and more oily in 

quality than the western chaffy stuff, two bushels of it, 

C 72 ] 


as I am informed by those who have carefully tested 
it, containing as much fattening material as three bush- 
els of western corn . If turkeys can run in the fall months 
where they get a plentiful supply of Tallman sweetings 
and other nutritious sweet apples, the fruit will add to 
the juiciness and flavor of the flesh. To be first-rate, 
turkeys intended for the Boston market, or for anybody 
with a palate in his throat, should never be fatted on 
meal, not even if made from ambrosia, for the reason 
that when ground a larger and grosser portion goes to 
the flesh than when fed in the grain, and consequently 
the bird is not of so delicate a flavor. This rule holds 
good in an eminent degree in the making of pork and 
hams, one pound of hard corn and pure water-fed pork 
or hams being worth to a person of taste, and who 
knows what is what, full ten pounds of soft pork fatted 
on meal, and at least five hundred pounds of greasy, 
slushy, soft, nauseous swill-fed pork such as is often 
seen on the tables of the foremost hotels in the land. 

When the turkey is well fattened, say anywhere from 
Thanksgiving to Christmas, before being prepared for 
market or home use, he should be shut up and kept 
without food for some eighteen hours. Then suspend 
the sacred creature from a spike above, carefully by a 
stout cord or string tied around both legs, and holding 
the head downward reverently but quickly cut asun- 
der the jugular vein, and just as soon as the breath 
leaves pluck off the feathers before the body gets cold. 
This done, remove the crop and entrails without loss of 
time, restoring the liver and gizzard, when the latter 
is cleansed of the gravelly contents and its inside skin. 
Then tie a string around the body and both wings and 

C 7S ] 


also around both legs, and hang him up in a cool, dry 
place for from two to three days. You will then have 
a superior dish, if properly seasoned and roasted, to any 
other known animal, fowl, or fish, whether wild game 
or domestic, on this or any other terraqueous globe 
within the scope of man's knowledge. A bird that I am 
sure Jove must prize far above his eagle, and as little 
like the still-swill, barley-meal, potato-fed turkey of 
New York and other cities and states as possible, which, 
as a rule, are first stuffed with foul feed to repletion 
and then soused into scalding water to save a minute's 
labor in plucking the feathers, and again often suffered 
to lie sweltering for weeks, until they become hideous 
through the foulness of their own fermenting ordure, 
and lastly dry baked in an oven and placed before the 
nabobs of New York, a large portion of whom have no 
more palate in their mouths than a lobster. To such a 
foul bird as I have last described, the Rhode Island 
dry-dressed angelic turkey is as totally unlike and more 
so than the Dutch bedeviled turkey of New York is un- 
like a roasted carrion-gorging turkey buzzard stuffed 
with its own foul offal. To illustrate, I disremember the 
exact time when my father and I accepted an invita- 
tion from a former Mayor of New York, a family con- 
nection, to dine with a Milord and Milady, friends of 
his who had lately arrived from England. There was 
a magnificent looking baked turkey on the board that 
seemed ready to burst with a superabundance of stuf- 
fing. My lady, being helped to a plentiful supply of the 
seasoning, politely expressed a wish after tasting it, to 
get a receipt for its making. Our host accordingly sum- 
moned Biddy to the door of the dining-room and asked 

c 74 : 


her to explain to Milady the secret of her turkey sea- 
soning and to reveal to her its component parts. 

"And is it after the inside fixings her ladyship is 
axing, your honor? Why then shure and her ladyship 
must axe the haithen Dutchman who sent the animal 
home by your honor's nagur ! For didn't I prepare as 
illigant a mixture as was ever set before a peg in old 
Ireland, and when I come to apply it to the insides of 
the bird, didn't I perceive that before the blackguard 
biled the poor thing's feathers clean off its back and 
all, and all, he had crammed it so full of his own bad 
smelling engradients before it was dead, bad luck to 
the thaif, that the deil of a tayspoonful of my foine 
mixture could the blessed Vargin herself, not for the 
love of Jasus and all the saints, have forced into aither 
end of the craythur, at all, at all! " 

C 75 ] 

Sixth Baking 

I SUPPOSE impatient readers may think it about 
time I told how it happened that my grandfather's 
super-excellent cook, Phillis, was the remote cause of the 
French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette, and so after dwelling a little longer 
on the unequaled excellences of the never-enough-to- 
be-praised, corn-fed, dry-dressed Rhode Island turkey, 
I will proceed to gratify their harmless curiosity, on 
that point. 

Singular enough, it was doubtless mostly owing to 
the superlative flavor of a well-fattened, well-killed, 
well-picked, well-dry-dressed Rhode Island turkey, 
that caused almost every species of wild fowl in the 
olden time to multiply in Narragansett almost beyond 
belief. My brother Joseph just now writes me from 
London that he remembers when tens of thousands of 
marsh birds, yellow legs, plover, kill-willetts, Sec, &c, 
used to be on the marshes of the Narrow Pettaquam- 
scutt river and Salt pond all through the autumn, and 
vast multitudes of wild ducks therein until the ice 
drove most of them out, after which every airhole would 
be full of them all winter, and of wild geese in their 
season, especially in the night and on stormy days. I 
have myself seen of a morning on the farm on which 
the Tower Hill House now stands, flocks of wild geese, 
and as many black ducks or more, gathered under 
the bushes on the edge of the marsh, whilst the more 
isolated and smaller ponds abounded with summer 
duck and teal. Instill earlier times so immense were the 
C 76 ] 


flocks of teal, the best water fowl known when roasted 
by Phillis, not excepting even the boasted wild, celery- 
fed canvas-back of the Chesapeake, that it used to be 
told when I was young, that Thomas H. Hazard, of 
Little Neck Farm, and hence called Little Neck Tom, 
the father of the late SylvesterR. andDr. R.R. Hazard, 
of Newport, once shot with a single sweep of his long 
duck gun in the North Narragansett Pier pond fifty-one 
teal that he got, and then followed the remainder of the 
flock to the south pond, where he again raised them, 
and with another sweeping shot of his gun brought 
down forty-nine more, makingjust one hundred teal at 
the two shots. My brother writes further, "I remem- 
ber very well when black ducks built their nests on 
Point Judith, and I have often flushed them among 
the huckleberry and other bushes. I have also seen a 
partridge at roost on my barn at Sea Side. I have seen 
as many as twenty English snipe at one time about your 
upper pond reservoir in Rocky Brook, since 1825." 
Again, my brother says, "I can remember when there 
used to be acres of wild ducks, widgeons, broadbills, 
dippers, &c, &c, in the salt lake that bounds Point 
Judith on the west, whilst the marshes and hills on its 
borders swarmed with countless green-headed plover, 
black breasts, canvas-back plover, curlews, meadow 
larks, &c, &c, &c. Why! even as late as 1835, lean 
remember there were multitudes of teal and other duck 
in almost every stream, pond, and even mud-hole in 
Narragansett. Partridges and quails were plenty every- 
where. I remember that the late Benjamin Hadwen, 
since 1837, kept his horses in a barn that stood a little 
south-west of Saunders Coates' house at the North Pier. 

[ 77 ] 


He had to walk from his house to his barn — about 250 
yards — to attend to his horses, and habitually took his 
gun in his hand to shoot such game as he might see 
on his way. Benjamin told me that he killed ninety- 
two quail on this short beat in one winter. 

"I recollect that a partridge, the pheasant of Penn- 
sylvania and grouse of Long Island, was found one 
morning at roost in a coil of rope on the deck of the 
pier sloop, as she lay at the wharf. 

"Bob Billington, now 80, who is a reliable man 
about such things, told me some few years ago that 
when he was a boy he could kill more ducks in the 
little ponds in Point Judith, with stones, than can now 
be killed with a gun." 

I remember when many years ago the late Cap- 
tain Jeremiah Whaley, of Narragansett Pier, arranged 
with a neighbor to go shooting for one week, Sunday 
excepted, for sea-fowl at the season they were passing 
from North to South. They stood on the rocks that 
bound the shore a little south of Narragansett Pier, and 
shot the birds on the wing as they followed the coast 
line. The two bagged in the six days six hundred head. 
On one day the weather proved very cold, and to keep 
his dog who swam off the rocks to bring in the game, 
from freezing, Captain Whaley covered him up with 
his pea-jacket or coat, taken off his own shoulders. 

And now methinks I hear some captious reader, 
whose powers of analysis are not sufficiently acute to 
enable him to trace effects to causes and vice versa to 
exclaim, "What upon airth had a dry-dressed, corn- 
fed, well-cooked Rhode Island turkey to do with mak- 
ing wild fowl so abundant in the olden times? " Well, 
C 78 ] 


let me answer, has not Sir Knowall yet learned that the 
mightiest effects have generally, if not always, flowed 
from causes apparently trivial and disconnected with 
great results that follow in their train? Was not, let 
me ask, the cause of the famous island in the Tiber 
simply a bull's hide lodged by accident in the stream? 
Was not the firm land in the midst of the river Seine 
in Paris, on which the great temple Notre Dame ap- 
parently so firmly stands, caused simply by the acci- 
dental lodgment of a shock of wheaten corn? Was 
not one of the longest and most bloody wars that ever 
devastated Europe caused simply by a diamond neck- 
lace? Was not the thoughtless biting of an apple by 
mother Eve the cause of consigning a thousand mil- 
lion of myriads and more of human beings to an ever 
burning hell of fire and brimstone? 

Was not, in short, the terrible bloody revolution of 
France and the death of Marie Antoinette caused 
simply by my grandfather's famous and inimitable 
cookPhillis in — but I forget that I have not yet told 
how the Rhode Island corn -fed, dry -dressed, nicely 
cooked a la Phillis roast turkey caused almost every 
species of wild fowltomultiplyintheoldentimein Nar- 
ragansett almost beyond belief. To make the explana- 
tion and tell the whole story, as it were in a nutshell, 
I will say it was after this wise : In the good olden time, 
society in Narragansett and mostly elsewhere was di- 
vided, very much like SanchoPanza's family relatives, 
into two classes, viz. : The ' ' Have Somethings, ' ' whom 
that doughty Squire averred he greatly respected and 
loved, and ever clung to through thick and thin, and 
the " Have Nothings," whom the same discriminat- 

C 79 ] 


ing individual held in supreme contempt and always 
avoided. Now it so happened that the first named of 
these classes in Narragansett, having the wherewithal 
to luxuriate on corn-fed, dry-dressed, nicely roasted 
Rhode Island turkeys, became by second nature so fas- 
tidious in their taste that they had no desire to partake 
of less dainty game, and therefore never troubled them- 
selves about the numerous tribes of wild fowl that 
abounded in its waters, forests, swamps, and marshes, 
and on its plains and hillsides. Powder and shot being 
high in price, and cash articles, were wholly out of the 
reach of the "Have Nothings," and consequently the 
only way the meaner sort of livers could obtain the in- 
ferior kind of game, such as snipe, woodcock, teal, wild 
geese, and ducks, &c, when compared with the corn- 
fed, dry-dressed, nicely roasted Rhode Island turkey 
was after the manner pursued by Bob Billington, as 
described by my brother Joseph, by shying stones at 
them, either out of the hand or sling. After the manu- 
facturing business became established in Narragansett 
and fourfolded the wages of the laboring class, and 
Gust Hazard, a Narragansett boy, had gone to Enfield, 
Conn., and cheapened the price of gunpowder, every 
factory boy in South Kingstown was enabled to pass 
his holidays and Sundays roaming about the country 
with a gun in his hand — and now so scarce is game 
thereabout that scarcely a chippen bird or ground spar- 
row is to be seen, nor can they hardly light on a stone 
heap without being fired at, whilst nearly every other 
species of game has become extinct, unless it be the 
woodchuck, which, owing probably to his wonderful 
cunning, and little value of his hide or carcass, seems 

C 8° ] 


to defy all attempts to exterminate his race. I will 
narrate, as a specimen of his wily ways, the following 
circumstance : I was many years ago riding along in 
the driftway that used to run on the west side of Apple 
Tree Plain, a little north of Peace Dale, when I spied 
a woodchuck, and a freak of fancy incited me to give 
chase to him on horseback. He had ventured some con- 
siderable distance from his hole, and before he reached 
it I came up with him and was preparing to dismount 
and seize him, when he suddenly fell as dead as a door 
nail. I took him up and laid him on the pommel of my 
saddle, and carried him home and into the house. None 
of us could discern the slightest sign of life in the crea- 
ture, but as his limbs and body remained supple and 
warm, I thought it possible he might be playing pos- 
sum. So I took him out into a field near by and threw 
him on the ground some ten rods or so from a stone 
wall. I remember he fell with his head partly doubled 
under his body so that he must have lain in a very 
uncomfortable position, but still I could not see that he 
made the least movement. I then hid behind the wall 
and peeked through it to watch the result. After a few 
minutes the chuck slowly worked his head out from be- 
neath his body, and very slily raised it and took a gen- 
eral survey of the situation. Seemingly satisfied that no 
enemy was cognizant of his presence, he started to 
run for the wall directly where I lay behind it, which 
was the nearest point. I jumped over the wall when, 
finding himself headed off, down he dropped again as 
dead as a hatchet. So after repeating the experiment 
again and again, with like result, I thought I would 
let the knowing creature live, and leaving him to find 
Z 81 ] 


his way home as best he might, I went about my busi- 
ness. I will just here say for the benefit of such readers 
as may not be acquainted with the reach of ground 
that was some fifty years ago called Apple Tree Plain, 
that it lies a little south-east of the narrow causeway 
that passes over a western arm of the Peace Dale mill- 
pond on which the late Hon. Elisha R. Potter once 
chanced to meet a pedler with his tin cart near the cen- 
tre of the causeway. It being impossible to pass each 
other, and neither party seeming disposed to back out, 
Mr. Potter took a newspaper from his pocket and set- 
tled himself back in his seat as if he had the design 
of staying until the pedler gave ground to him. After 
continuing to read for an hour or so, the pedler at 
length broke silence and commenced conversation by 
ejaculating in an interrogatory tone, "I say, Squire?" 

Well, ' ' said Mr. Potter, ' ' what have you got to pro- 
pose?" " Nothing," replied the pedler, "only to re- 
mark that w T hen your honor has committed that news- 
paper to heart, you will please allow me a chance to 
peruse it! " Mr. Potter thought it was no use to con- 
tend with such a customer and so backed his horse to 
the other end of the causeway and let the pedler pass 
on his way. 

Christmas was jolly in the olden time. Three great 
young gobblers used to be roasted at my grandfather's 
on that occasion, two for the kitchen folks and one for 
the great-room folks, with warm cranberry sauce, 
dumplings, and onions to match. Every darkey in 
Narragansett who could claim relationship in the ninth 
degree with one of their race who had belonged to any 
of my grandfather's ancestors felt that they had as 
C 82 H 


good a right in the house on Christmas eve and the 
twelve holidays following, as any of the heirs at law ; 
and oh ! did n't they have a jolly time ! As I remem- 
ber, there was, in the good old time, always a terrible 
snow-storm on Christmas night, and the whole of the 
next day. But who cared for that ! There was a great 
pile of logs and wood stowed away in the big wash- 
room to burn, and plenty of roast turkeys, and mince 
and pumpkin pies to eat, to say nothing of the scores 
of other good things. As I have before hinted, the 
Christmas back-log was a heap sight bigger and longer 
than the boiler of a seventy-five horse power locomo- 
tive. Pomp always sat on one end of the log on the 
occasion with his fife, and Scip on the other with his 
fiddle ! and such music ! Talk about your opera music ! 
I have heard it again and again, and I can aver with a 
clear conscience that it never seemed half as lively as 
Pomp's fife or Scip's fiddle used to when I was a small 
boy, while old Mose's Guinea songs sounded in my 
ear a thousand times more divine than I ever heard 
from the throat of Jenny Lind or any other nightin- 
gale singer. And then the dancing ! Why ! Old Phillis, 
my grandfather's cook, was as rotund and fat as any 
other cook in Narragansett, and yet I have seen her, 
when full dressed in her big white homespun apron 
reaching clean round her middle and tied behind, and 
from her chin down to her ankles ; I have seen her, 
I say, when a small boy, start at the hearth and whirl 
around in the air six times before she reached the 
farther end of the kitchen, which was at least fifty 
feet long, if I remember, and then make a whirl the 
other way, and so whirl back again in the air just as 

C 83 ] 


she went, to where she started from. And there was 
long-legged Sam, too, who had a way of his own of 
fetching a terrific screech like a catamount, and then 
darting forward to the middle of the floor and striking 
the ceiling behind him with the heel of one foot, at the 
same moment that he kicked it before him with the 
toe of the other foot. I can't say that I ever saw Sam 
execute this feat, as it was generally performed past 
midnight, after I was sent to bed, but then I have 
heard him screech and remember seeing the two holes 
that Mose told me that Sam kicked in the plastering, 
that were, if my memory serves, about sixteen feet 
apart. This seems, it is true, a great distance for any 
man to straddle, black or white, but then it must be 
remembered that Sam was uncommonly tall, and most 
all legs at that. Nor did these Christmas holiday gam- 
bols cease with the advent of the sun, which Phillis 
used to shut out of the windows with curtains most 
of the time, because she said it darkened the room by 
stealing light from her blazing fire. The day after 
Christmas there was always a great snow-bank piled 
up against the north kitchen window, at least ten feet 
high. I disremember the name of a burly descendant of 
one of my grandfather's great-grandfather's negroes, 
who used to spend his Christmas holidays at our house. 
The fellow would open a window opposite the big 
snow-bank and then lay himself flat on his face on the 
floor beneath it, and raise his head, arms, shoulders, 
feet, legs, thighs, and all, entirely off the floor, so that 
he would just bear on a small part of the middle of his 
belly, and then begin to work the muscles that lie con- 
tiguous to the navel until, through their force and ac- 

r 84 ] 


tion alone, he would fetch a sudden spring and throw 
himself full length through the open, window without 
touching its sides or sill, and bury himself entirely 
out of sight in the snow-bank outside. I can't say that 
I ever saw this feat performed with my own eyes, but 
then I remember seeing the snow-bank and heard 
Mose tell all about seeing it done, whose word I then 
had and still have as implicit faith in as I have in that 
of Moses of the Pentateuch. And, oh, what splendid 
stories these old nigs, gathered from all quarters of 
Narragansett, used to tell me and the six little nigs 
and niggresses ! Many a time have I sat scrooched up 
in the kitchen corner, and trembling all over with fear, 
listening to their stories of the big lions, snakes a thou- 
sand feet long, and giants, in Guinea, with my eyes 
fixed intently on the great-room door waiting to see it 
opened by some one, when I would scamper as fast as 
my legs would carry me so as to get in before it was 
shut again. 

As in everything else, Mose excelled in story-telling. 
If I was to live through three eternities, I know I should 
never forget his telling about the black gal who went 
down into the swamp graping, in Guinea, when she 
was "cocht" by an old giant who tore her into four 
pieces and hanged one hind quarter on a swamp oak 
tree and the other on a maple tree, whilst he hanged 
one of her fore quarters on a chestnut tree and the other 
on a walnut tree. Even now that I am in my eighty- 
third year, I seldom see a wild grape-vine loaded Math 
fox grapes, that I do not think of old Mose's story, 
which I devoutly believed in, into advanced boyhood. 
In fact, if it had not been for that born devil, Abe, I 

[ 85 ] 


am not sure but that so deeply would my spirit have 
been imbued with faith in Mose's story about the giant 
and the black gal, that I should have believed in it to 
this day, just as thousands of others do in equally mar- 
velous stories merely through the force of early edu- 
cation and then constantly hearing them through life. 
The way my faith first became shaken in the divine 
authority of Mose was after this wise: One shiny even- 
ing as I stood in the back door looking at the moon, 
then nearly full, Mose asked me if I did n't want a bit 
of it. On my telling him that I did, he told me to keep 
my eyes on the moon, and he would knock off a piece 
of it for me. Suiting his action to his word, Mose shyed 
a piece of slate stone at the moon, and then stooping 
down picked up something yellow which he said he had 
knocked off one side of the moon, as I could see if I 
looked closely at it. I picked up the shiny thing at my 
feet and then observed that it was shaped so as to fit 
exactly on one side of the moon, off of which I now for 
the first time observed a small crescent-shaped piece 
had been knocked by the stone shyed at it by Mose. I 
kept the shiny piece and showed it to Abe, who made 
fun of it, and said that it was nothing but a piece of 
"old yaller punkin rind." 4 This made me mad, and 
I told Mose what Abe said. To my surprise Mose said 
that what Abe said was true, and that the moon was 
nothing but a great yaller punkin that grew on a long 
vine that dangled down from heaven. This raised the 
first doubt in my mind of the perfect verity of the word 
of Mose, but nevertheless I could never bear the sight 
of Abe afterwards, because he was the means of shak- 
ing my faith in what I had imbibed in my infancy as 
C 86 ] 


truth, and still wanted, like all other people on earth, 
of whatever race, color, or nation, to believe in to my 
dying day. 

In the olden time each dish of meat or fowl had its 
own special proper fixings, which with all good livers 
were deemed indispensable. Roast beef, for instance, 
was always accompanied with a Yorkshire pudding 
and cranberry sauce ; roast mutton with currant jelly ; 
boiled mutton with round turnips; roast lamb with 
mint sauce and green peas ; roast veal with horse rad- 
ish, lemons, if to be had, asparagus, and dandelions, 
the best and wholesomest green in the world if prop- 
erly boiled with a portion of the root attached. Roast 
turkey was always attended with boiled rice, onions, 
and cranberry sauce. The specialties of roast goose and 
ducks were onions and apple sauce, the big cat-head 
apple being the finest grained, the best, and the tartest 
of all for the purpose. 

Speaking of cat-heads brings to my mind a cat story 
that I will relate in my next, previous to entering upon 
my long-deferred account of how Phillis, my grand- 
father's renowned cook, came to be the remote cause 
of the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette. 

C 87 1 

Seventh Baking 

THE cat story that popped into my head on men- 
tion of the cat-head or pie-apple, at the close of 
my last chapter, was after this wise. There were liv- 
ing at my grandfather's house, in Narragansett, fifteen 
full-grown cats all told, besides some litters of kittens. 
One first-day forenoon, when all the great-room folks 
had gone to Quaker meeting, excepting me, who had 
torn my breeches purposely that morning so that I might 
be left at home, Abe and I arranged tohavea good time. 
So we shut the inside shutters of the great-room, thus 
excluding the light, all but what got through a little 
heart-shaped hole at the top of each pair of shutters, 
and then set ourselves to catch the cats and shut them 
in the dark room. After an hour's work, we succeeded 
in grabbing and shutting up fourteen of the number, 
including the great yaller tom-cat, which was nigh upon 
as big as a catamountain. There was, however, an old 
black cat that took to the cock-loft of the garret, which 
Abe finally declared the Devil himself could n't get if 
he tried to. The cock-loft was very dark, and we could 
see nothing but the old sarpent's eyes looking like two 
balls of fire, and when we went softly to the place, they 
showed themselves in another corner of the cock-loft. So 
we gave her up, and went down to the great-room, into 
which we shut ourselves with the fourteen cats, which 
were of all the colors of the rainbow, including several 
other shades to boot. Next, Abe and I each got a win- 
dow-stick and went to chasing the cats like mad around 
the room, occasionally hitting one on the head or 
C 88 ] 


wherever came handiest. After racing round and round 
a few times, the great yallercat darted into the fireplace 
and up the chimney, followed by the whole drove. 

Just at this time old Kit Potter, the Tower Hill 
cooper, chanced to be coming down the lane, and see- 
ing the cats pouring out of the top of the chimney, he 
hurried back to his house and told his wife that she 
needn't dispute with him any longer about Hazard's 
house being haunted, for he had just seen more than 
five hundred witches sitting on the roof, and more 
coming out of the chimney. 

The cat-head or pie-apple is peculiarly adapted to 
making apple sauce and pies, inasmuch as it is not only 
one of the earliest of apples, but has a singularly fine, 
soft, pulpy grain. In fact, it is by all true Narragan- 
setters acknowledged that the fruits that grow in that 
latitude are far superior in quality and lusciousness 
in Washington and Newport counties than anywhere 
else, with one exception, on this terraqueous globe. This 
is owing, in a great measure, to the general softness of 
the Gulf Stream air that there pervades. The exception 
I make is a district of country lying between the Eu- 
phrates and the Tigris rivers in ancient Assyria, where 
the Garden of Eden was situated. Owing to the bland, 
soft, warm south -western breezes from the Persian Gulf 
that fan this delightful region, the climate of the coun- 
try, for some distance from the sea, very much resem- 
bles that of the%outhern coast of the Ancient Atlantis, 
though perhaps not quite equal to the latter in its 
delightful temperature, or in the quality of its fruits 
and other vegetable productions. 

On the north, contiguous to Vaucluse, in Ports- 

[ 89 ] 


mouth, R. I., the residence of "Shepherd Tom," 
there lies the old Isaac Chase farm, which in the olden 
time was owned and occupied, in the summer season, 
by Mr. Bowler, 5 a rich East India merchant of New- 
port. Mr. Bowler had a beautiful garden and took great 
delight in beautifying his grounds and hot-houses with 
exotics from all parts of the world. On one occasion a 
Captain Green Chausan, of one of Mr. Bowler's East 
India ships, chanced to rescue from shipwreck a prince 
of the royal blood of Persia, whose father, in the fervor 
of his gratitude for saving and restoring to him his son, 
presented to the captain from his own garden, situated 
on the site of the ancient Garden of Eden, a young ap- 
ple tree growing in a porcelain tub, which was declared 
to be one of the few direct lineal descendants of the 
tree of knowledge. On his arrival in Newport, Captain 
Chausan as in duty bound presented the young tree 
to his employer, Mr. Bowler, who was delighted be- 
yond measure with the precious gift, and thought to 
guard and protect it by placing it in a hot-house, some 
remains of which are yet to be seen, but was admon- 
ished in a dream by an angel, claiming to be Mother 
Eve, to do no such thing, as the climate of southern 
Rhode Island was, if anything, a little more favora- 
ble to its growth than that of southern Assyria, from 
whence it was removed. Mr. Bowler had such faith in 
the vision that he had the tree carefully removed from 
the tub or vase with the earth attached and trans- 
planted into Rhode Island soil, where it grew and 
flourished beyond his most sanguine expectations, and 
finally developed into what has ever since been called 
the Rhode Island greening. 



The Rhode Island greening is acknowledged the 
world over to be the richest and finest flavored apple 
in the universe, provided it grows on the sunny out- 
side branches of the tree, and is allowed to hang and 
ripen until the last of October, or middle of Novem- 
ber, if possible. I want readers, however, to understand 
that nowhere else on earth, except in the region I have 
indicated, viz. : the Garden of Eden in Assyria and 
the Garden of Eden in Rhode Island, the Ancient At- 
lantis, can the Rhode Island greening be grown in per- 
fection. It is true that grafts from the genuine Rhode 
Island Assyrian tree have been widely cultivated in 
most of the Eastern and Northern States of the Union, 
but nowhere out of the hallowed limits I have desig- 
nated can an apple of any kind be found that compares 
in flavor with the Rhode Island greening of Eden, any 
more than a swill-fed, hot- water-picked, live-stuffed, 
French or Irish baked New York turkey compares 
in delightful delicacy and flavor with a grasshopper, 
corn, and Tallman sweeting fed, dry-dressed, a la 
Phillis roasted Rhode Island turkey. Until they got to 
sending spurious greenings to London from New York 
and Boston, the Rhode Island greening sold by far the 
highest in that market of any apple known. 

During the latter part of the Revolutionary War, the 
Marquis Lafayette used to stay alternately at Row- 
land Robinson's in Narragansett and at Mr. Bowler's 
in Portsmouth. On the occasion of a visit of General 
Washington to Newport, Mr. Bowler gave him a so- 
cial dinner party, which in that day was considerately 
and wisely limited to eight in number, who sat at a 
round table of the exact circumference required for 

C 91 ] 


the comfortable seating of the guests. These consisted 
of General Washington, the Marquis Lafayette and 
his host, Mr. Bowler, Count Rochambeau, Admiral De 
Tierney, Rev. Ezra Styles, Parson Hopkins, and Wil- 
liam Ellery. Thinking to give his French guests an 
unexpected treat, Mr. Bowler had prepared for the oc- 
casion, a dozen bottles of cider, made from the sunny- 
side half of mellow Rhode Island greenings gathered 
from the tree in November, which he had labeled 
Eden Champagne. Mine host had also prepared for the 
entertainment, a quantity of two kinds of the best 
brands of French champagne, which Mr. Bowler 
requested his guests to taste in turn and favor him 
with their opinion of the separate qualities. A sip was 
taken first of each kind from full glasses of the French 
wine, but when the Eden champagne was raised by 
his guests to their lips, in every instance the glass was 
drained below the customary heel-tap before it was set 
down again. The French gentlemen severally testified 
that they had never tasted anything so divine at any 
court in Europe as Eden champagne, and speaking 
wiser than they knew, they one and all declared that 
it could be no other than the fabled nectar of the gods. 
When the twelfth bottle was finished and Mr. Bowler 
apologized to his guests for not being able to furnish 
any more of the kind, all of his secular guests except 
Washington shed many tears, whilst the parsons, 
after draining the last drop from their glasses, both 
lifted up their voices and wept aloud. In his soberer 
moments, upon learning that the Eden champagne he 
had drank with such gusto at Mr. Bowler's table was 
simply Rhode Island greening cider, Dr. Hopkins was 

[ 92 ] 


heard to remark that he should always henceforth have 
more charity for Mother Eve's unfortunate slip, by 
which she had been the cause of consigning some mil- 
lions of myriads of men and women to an endless hell 
of fire and brimstone, to say nothing of as many more 
infants, as he was not sure if a bottle of the cider made 
of the same kind of apple was placed before him when 
he was dry, that he would be able to resist the temp- 
tation of tasting it, even if the penalty attached to his 
doing so was to be his own everlasting damnation ! 

The tree of the genuine Rhode Island greening is 
unique in its manner of growth and of great size. In 
Washington and Newport counties it often reaches a 
gigantic size, with its limbs spreading out some thirty 
feet in every direction from a central platform a few 
feet from the ground. I remember seeing a greening 
tree many years ago, in the Captain Phillips orchard, 
just south of the compact part of the city of Newport, 
the main branches of which spread so widely and 
symmetrically from the main stem near the ground, 
that invited parties used to seat themselves around 
a table and the platform made by the united limbs, 
and take their tea. Another peculiarity of the Rhode Is- 
land greening tree is the exceeding crookedness of 
its branches. I have heard travelers who have been in 
nearly every country on the globe say that nowhere else 
but in southern Rhode Island have they ever seen ap- 
ple trees of such gigantic size or such wide-spreading 
and peculiarly crooked limbs. I remember hearing the 
late Daniel E. Updike, of East Greenwich, relate that 
on one of his brothers coming home from college, 
his father, who lived near Wickford, in Washington 

C 93 ] 


county, thinking to make a farmer of his son, sent him 
out into Connecticut to buy a dozen cows for dairy 
purposes. On being asked by his father in the evening 
of his return, after several days' absence, what luck he 
had experienced in buying cows, the young college- 
bred farmer said that cows were rather scarce, but that 
he had succeeded in buying a score of goats, which 
he thought might answer the purpose of a dairy as 
well or better than cows, as he was told they eat less 
and at the same time gave richer milk. The young 
man in answer to his father's queries further said that 
he had turned the flock for the night into the old green- 
ing orchard. The next morning the old gentleman, 
who, unlike his college-bred son, was an early riser, 
walked out to the orchard to take a view of his new 
kind of cows, but not seeing anything of the goats, 
concluded, as he devoutly hoped, that they had scaled 
the walls and returned home. As he turned to go back 
to the house, his attention was directed to the top 
branches of one of the crooked-limbed, wide-spread 
apple trees by a peculiar sound he heard, when lo and 
behold, he discovered his son's dairy all perched up 
in the branches of his favorite greening trees luxuri- 
ating on the apple blossoms. From that hour the old 
man concluded that however well adapted a collegiate 
education as then — and now — conducted was to the 
professions of law, medicine, and divinity, it was worse 
than useless when applied to agriculture. 

To return from this digression to the quality of the 
fruits and vegetables of southern Atlantis, I may say- 
that the old-fashioned wild strawberry that used to 
grow in my grandfather's cow pasture, on the eastern 

i 94 J 


declivity of Tower Hill, was as far superior in delicacy 
of texture and flavor to any coarse garden or cultivated 
strawberry of the present day as a Narragansett wild 
high blackberry is to a coarse pulped, tasteless, culti- 
vated Lawton blackberry, which are as wide apart in 
deliciousness as the North and South Poles are from 
each other. In the olden times, wild strawberries used 
to be so plenty in Narragansett that the hoofs of horses 
taken out of the pasture of a morning would be dyed 
red, as it were, with their juice. As to thatdivinest of 
all berries, the high blackberry, it used to be so plen- 
tiful in Narragansett that I remember when Thomas 
R. Williams, about sixty years ago, embarked in the 
blackberry wine business and offered one cent per 
quart for fine high blackberries, such immense quan- 
tities were brought him that he had to curtail his orders. 
These berries were mostly gathered by the young wo- 
men in the neighborhood, who paid at the time for 
cotton cloth, if happily able to buy any, fifty cents per 
yard to make their shifts of, or fifty quarts of black- 
berries. Thus four yards of cloth to make a shift costs 
two dollars, or two hundred quarts of blackberries. 
Now the cloth sells for six cents per yard and black- 
berries sell for ten cents or more a quart, so that two 
hundred quarts of berries that formerly bought four 
yards of cotton cloth to make a poor girl's shift will 
now purchase — let me see — two hundred quarts at 
ten cents per quart, amounts to twenty hundred cents, 
$20, which, divided by six, the present retail price of 
cotton shirtings, gives three hundred and thirty-three 
yards and a fraction over for the same work as bought 
four yards since my memory. Then there were no pub- 

t 95 3 


lie schools and but few manufactories. Now there are 
a plenty of both, and the granddaughters of the poor 
pickers of blackberries at one cent per quart, who were 
glad in their day to get housework or any kind of menial 
labor for twenty-five cents per week, are now earning 
five dollars per week , or twenty times as much in money , 
or one hundred and sixty times as much paid in cotton 
cloth for their chemises. And yet these oppressed young 
ladies are striking work in all directions for higher 
wages ! Surely the millennium must be nearer at hand 
than is supposed by the bloated manufacturers. 

But now methinks I again hear some captious reader 
exclaim, as before, what in the name of wonder has the 
baking of a Rhode Island jonny-cake to do with the 
price of cotton cloth, or how does it help to prove to 
us that Phillis, your grandfather's accomplished cook, 
was the remote cause of the French Revolution, and the 
death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? I answer 
in the words of the poet : 

' ' What differs more say ye than crown and cowl ? 
I tell ye, sirs, a wise man and a fool." 

Thusly to the latter-named quadruped there is no rele- 
vance, as I have before hinted, at all in a Rhode Island 
j onny-cake and the price of cotton cloth , or in the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 
Antoinette, for the simple reason that a biped of this 
class, especially if educated in one of our present mem- 
ory-cramming common schools or most approved col- 
leges or universities, know little or nothing but what 
they have learned like parrots by rote. To such every 
fact and incident of mortal and eternal life stand isolated 

C 96 3 


and distinct from each other, they not having natural 
gumption or understanding enough to analyze subjects 
or reason from analogy. But not so with the wise man. 
He, from the resources of his own mind, the god within 
him, discerns a likeness in all things, and give him but 
any one fact to begin with, though that be but a Rhode 
Island jonny-cake, and he will make it a nucleus and 
leading string, with which he will unlock and pene- 
trate the secrets of all nature. Educate such a man 
as this, and he will eschew the false and assimilate the 
good and true to his own understanding, until he be- 
comes a vox Dei, or small god. Educate a fool, and I 
care not how learned and scientific he may become, he 
can only assimilate his acquired knowledge in the direc- 
tion of his natural folly, and thereby become a more ac- 
complished fool! This is the main reason why so many 
of our scientific men, falsely, as Paul truly says, so 
called, become such consummate though accomplished 
blockheads ! They have nothing within them educated 
but their memory, and when that has given forth all 
that has been impressed upon it in school, they have 
gone to the full length of their ability and are rendered 
hors de combat whether in disquisition or argument. 

Again, let me ask what right has any reader to ques- 
tion the relevance of the price of cotton cloth or that of 
a Rhode Island jonny-cake with the remote cause of 
the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette? Such readers would doubtless 
ridicule the idea that the successful termination of 
the American Revolution of '76 had its remote cause 
in certain knitting-bees held by the patriotic women 
of the counties of Washington in Rhode Island and of 

C 97 D 


New London in Connecticut, and yet this might be 
maintained thusly: — but I must defer the thusly to 
my eighth and next Rhode Island jonny-cake paper, 
as well as the why and the wherefore that Phillis, 
my grandfather's most consummate cook, was the 
remote cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. 

[98 1 

Eighth Baking 

I THINK in my last paper I gave readers to un- 
derstand that before I showed how it happened that 
Phillis, my grandfather's never-to-be-forgotten accom- 
plished cook, was the remote cause of the French Rev- 
olution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie An- 
toinette, I would explain to them how certain knitting- 
bees in Washington county, Rhode Island, and New 
London county, Connecticut, happened to be the re- 
mote cause of the successful termination of the War 
of Independence. If all I have heard is true, it was 
after this wise : In the severe winter of 1777 and 1778, 
after the American troops had been foiled and defeated 
in almost every direction, they took up their winter 
quarters at Valley Forge, a deep gorge on the banks 
of the Schuylkill, about twenty miles west-by-north 
of Philadelphia. Such was the forlorn condition of his 
little army that even Washington himself became al- 
most hopelessly discouraged. The men arrived in small 
detachments, more than half naked. The winter was 
terribly severe, and the ground was early covered with 
ice and snow. One detachment came into camp from 
Whitemarsh, nineteen miles distant, literally bare- 
footed, the ice and snow on the line of march being 
actually saturated w r ith blood from the naked feet of 
the patriotic soldiers. Lord Howe was then in posses- 
sion of Philadelphia, and of course no assistance could 
be sent to the starving and freezing troops from that 
city. The treasury was bankrupt, and the Continental 
Congress was paralyzed and helpless. In his dire ex- 

C 99 1 


tremity Washington had no one to look to but to his 
dear and ever reliable friend, Brother Jonathan Trum- 
bull, of Lebanon, Connecticut. A trusty messenger was 
dispatched to make known to him the critical situation 
of the army, and if possible send a full supply of woolen 
stockings for the suffering men. The very next morn- 
ing after the messenger arrived, Brother Jonathan 
mounted his horse in a snow-storm and rode through 
New London county, exhorting on his way every 
woman he could see to lose no time in prevailing on 
her neighbors to commence making yarn and knitting 
stockings for the suffering army. Brother Jonathan 
next passed into the adjoining county of Washington 
in Rhode Island, and took up his abode for a short 
time with Jonathan J. Hazard, who was then the most 
influential man in the state and a sterling patriot. The 
next morning both the Jonathans sallied forth on horse- 
back and stumped the county. Jonathan J. was decid- 
edly a lady's man. He knew exactly how to approach 
the fair sex in the most telling way. Not a matron did 
he see but he complimented her good looks and made 
moving appeals to her patriotism. Not a little girl did 
he meet that he did not tell she was almost as pretty 
as her mother. Not a little boy whose head he did not 
pat and tell him in presence of his mamma, that he 
was undoubtedly born to be a general, a colonel, a 
captain, or a corporal. The two Jonathans were irre- 
sistible. The whole county soon became electrified. 
Knitting-bees were held on every afternoon and even- 
ing and in every quarter ; and soon the soldiers were 
all supplied with stockings, and mostly by the patri- 
otic women of the two counties named. By spring the 
[ 100 ] 


nice warm stockings had healed the lacerated feet 
of the patriotic soldiers, who were thus rendered able 
to march at any moment. The dilatory Howe was 
removed from Philadelphia, and replaced by General 
Clinton, who, upon learning the improved condition 
and spirit of Washington's little army, became panic- 
stricken and broke up his quarters at Philadelphia and 
set out on his march for New York by the way of New 
Brunswick and Amboy, with eleven thousand men. 
Washington immediately put his now well-stockinged 
and jubilant army in motion, and came up with Clin- 
ton near the village of Freehold, in Monmouth county, 
New Jersey, and immediately engaged with him in 
combat. The battle was long and bloody, and ended 
so successfully for the Americans that Clinton was com- 
pelled to alter his line of march and proceed to New 
York by making a detour to the right by way of Sandy 
Hook. It is thought that had General Nathanael Greene 
occupied the dubious General Lee's position on this oc- 
casion as second in command, the whole British army 
under Clinton would have been compelled to surren- 
der and thus brought the Revolution to a close. As it 
was, that event had to be deferred to Yorktown ; but 
Washington's partial success on the occasion inspired 
his army with new hope and courage that never left 
them until the final victory at Yorktown was accom- 
plished. The encounter took place on a Sunday, the 
thermometer standing at over one hundred in the shade. 
Scores of men on both sides perished in the field in 
consequence of the excessive heat of the day. 

Right in the height of battle the Rev. Dr. Cussum 
held forth, as usual, in the Presbyterian Church, in 

C 101 ] 


Freehold, and such, it was said, was the all-fired fervor 
with which he damned the enemies of his country, 
that, added to the external heat of the sun, the panes 
of a glass window immediately in front of his pulpit 
actually melted out of the sash, and fell inwards 
toward the Rev. Doctor, the point where the heat was 
the greatest. 

Thus the old women's stockings, made mostly of 
the soft, silky wool of Atlantis, healed the feet of the 
soldiers and enabled them to march against and defeat 
the enemy, at the culminating crisis of the war, and 
thus those nether garments became the remote cause 
of the successful termination of our own Revolution, 
just as I intend to show, if all I have heard be true, 
before I close these papers, that Phillis, my grand- 
father's inestimable cook, was the remote cause of the 
French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette. But then, as I have, as I think, 
before said, there is a time for all things, and great 
bodies move slowly, &c, &c. 

I have elsewhere spoken incidentally of the Nar- 
ragansett huckleberry, which is an entirely different 
thing when grown in the delicious Gulf Stream atmos- 
phere of southern Rhode Island than anywhere else in 
either the western or eastern hemisphere. The largest 
and best flavored huckleberries are usually to be found 
on the edges of woodlands where the bushes are par- 
tially shaded by the sparse branches of old trees . In such 
localities the bush grows much taller and the berries 
much bigger than on bleak, unprotected hills. Indeed, 
in some instances the delicious flavored woodland ber- 
ries attain to a size almost marvelous, though perhaps 

C 102 3 


not quite so big as was once reported to one of the 
British periodicals, the London Quarterly, by an Eng- 
lish tourist, who happening some years ago to be pass- 
ing by an old huckster woman in Newport who was 
seated by a pile of uncommonly large pumpkins she 
had to sell, remarked to her, "Old woman, we have 
bigger happles than them in Hengland. ' ' ' ' Happies, ' ' 
she rejoined, "do you call them happles? Why, them 
ain't happles, them's 'uckleberries! " The Henglish 
correspondent received the witty remark of the sar- 
castic old woman for gospel, and so entered it on his 
memorandum book and reported to his principals 
that huckleberries grew in the warm, salubrious Gulf 
Stream atmosphere of Rhode Island, the Eden of Amer- 
ica, as big as bushel baskets. 

When I was in my teens, I used to hear old people say 
that when they were young, before powder and shot had 
become so plenty and cheap, birds of all kinds were so 
numerous in New England that worms, caterpillars, 
and other hurtful slugs and insects were kept within 
such due bounds that the most delicious pears, plums, 
and peaches were as plenty in Rhode Island as pota- 
toes, and nowhere else so good! This I can readily 
believe to have been the fact, especially as it relates to 
peaches, which are infinitely finer flavored if produced 
in northern climates, and especially in the Gulf Stream 
atmosphere of Ancient Atlantis, than any grown further 
south, which, as a general rule, have but little other 
flavor than that of a vapid, sugary sweetness. Vau- 
cluse lies next south of the Bowler farm, now owned 
by Constant Chase and his sons Isaac and Herbert, 
where the greenings grew from which the Eden cham- 

C 103 ] 


pagne I have remarked upon in a former paper, was 
made. Consequently my farm is situated in the very 
niche in southern Rhode Island, the Ancient Atlantis 
in the western hemisphere, that corresponds with the 
former location of the Garden of Eden between the 
rivers Euphrates and Tigris in ancient Assyria in the 
eastern hemisphere, and consequently is better adapted 
for the production of ambrosia and all the fruits of the 
earth used as food by the luxurious gods of the olden 
time, than any other locality in America. I will simply 
relate the following incident to illustrate the superiority 
of the Bowler and Vaucluse Chausen greenings over 
all others on the island or elsewhere outside the walls 
of the old Assyrian garden. One or two summers ago I 
called to see Mr . L , of Boston , who has a fine sum- 
mer residence in south Newport. As everybody knows, 

Mr. L is a gentleman of the old school who is both 

to the manor and the manner born, and has a culti- 
vated, refined, and discriminating taste in all that re- 
lates to the fine arts, including the quality of the good 
fruits of the earth. It was about the middle of Novem- 
ber after my apples had been mostly gathered, and it so 
chanced that I had a Chausen greening in my pocket 
that I had that morning picked up just after it had 
fallen from the tree. If it be asked how I knew that, 
I answer that it must have just fallen, as I had at the 
time a knowing horse loose in the orchard, who always 
got up early in the morning and made a thorough search 
under every Chausen tree for stray greenings, nor did 
he ever miss finding any that had dropped during the 
night. Our conversation turned on the superiority of 
the fruits of Rhode Island above all others. I gave 

C 104 1 


Mr. L my Eden greening and asked him to taste 

it before breakfast the next morning, the best time to 
eat fruit the Serpent revealed to Eve. The apple was 
small in size and had a nurl on it, as all apples of the 
highest flavor always have for the reason that the nurl 
checks its growth, and concentrates all the flavor nature 
had provided for a large apple into a smaller space. I 

felt at the time that Mr. L had some misgivings 

about the virtues of my apple, though his habitual 
politeness prevented him from indicating it. We lived 
about seven miles apart, and a day or two after my 

visit as I was driving into Newport, I met Mr. L 

in company with a friend, on the road, driving out 
to Vaucluse. He apologized for bringing a stranger 
with him, but said he was in hopes I might be able to 
bestow upon his friend one more of those incompara- 
ble Chausen greenings I had favored him with, which 
he considered to be about two thousand times the rich- 
est and highest flavored apple he had ever tasted ! 

Some years ago I used to take a great deal of pains 
in cultivating at Vaucluse peach trees. Every spring 
I had from two to six forkfuls of green cow manure 
placed directly round the body of the tree, besides a 
quantity of coal ashes. This seemed to keep away the 
destructive worms and insects that prey upon the roots 
and the tree, and I found no difficulty in raising great 
quantities, sometimes as many as one hundred and 
fifty bushels of the finest peaches. Dr. Mercer, of New 
Orleans, a gentleman of high culture and taste, once 
picked from a tree on my grounds in my presence 
a peach which he said on the spot was the best and 
highest flavored he had ever eaten. 

C 1Q 5 ] 


I may here remark that inclosed with my orchard 
are grounds, planted with trees, of seventeen acres, 
in which I have never allowed any shooting for forty 
and more years. The consequence of this has been that 
great numbers of birds harbor within them, and no 
doubt protect my fruit from worms and insects, besides 
rendering the grounds vocal with variegated music 
superior to any that man or woman can perform or 
bestow. Whilst almost every orchard on the island is 
more or less injured annually by canker-worms, I have 
never known one to trespass on mine. 

When the public mind in Rhode Island becomes 
sufficiently expanded and enlightened to introduce into 
our public schools the system of moral culture recently 
recommended in Congress by Senator Burnside, and 
children are taught to protect and foster the lower ani- 
mals instead of abusing, persecuting, and murdering 
them, we may expect to see the feathered tribes that 
are so essential to the health and productiveness of our 
fruit trees and the vegetable kingdom generally, again 
increase to a point of usefulness that will renew the old- 
time fecundity of our orchards, fields, and gardens, 
including the pear, peach, and plum, such as was the 
case a century ago, but not probably before then. While 
there is a vast difference of flavor in favor of the New 
England peach compared with that of the Middle and 
Southern States, there is a still greater difference, if 
possible, in the melons of the different sections. So 
marked is this, that when I used to raise the finest fla- 
vored melons by the bushel, my children became so fas- 
tidious in their tastes, that they slighted everything of 
the kind that was brought from the South and West. 
C 106 1 


Not long since, in a conversation with my departed 
daughter Anna, who when in earth life was passion- 
ately fond of Vaucluse melons and peaches, and a born 
melon thief before she was five years old, she recurred 
to these facts and answered me that even in spirit life, 
where she has more delicious fruit of all kinds than 
I can ever have any conception of until I come to the 
beautiful home that awaits me beyond the veil, yet she 
does at times when she returns to earth and controls 
the organization of a spirit medium, and thereby again 
assumes, in a degree, her earthly nature and tastes, 
feel that she would again like to enjoy a feast as in 
olden times, of the citron and nutmeg melons such as 
used to grow in the garden behind the barn, and also 
the little white rare-ripe peaches that grew near the 
old cat-head apple tree in the orchard. 

I thought of devoting the next paper to the matter 
of my grandfather's transcendent colored cook, Phillis ; 
and show how she became the ' ' remote cause of the 
French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette ; ' ' but the incidental mention of that 
unlucky cat-head apple tree has brought to my remem- 
brance another cat story that I must relate before pro- 
ceeding to discuss or elucidate that important histori- 
cal fact, or that is to be, when it becomes fully known 
in all its bearings and connections to the world. 

I 1Q 7 ] 

Ninth Baking 

BEFORE narrating the cat story promised in my 
last paper, I will say I forgot to mention with due 
emphasis , that Phillis , my grandfather ' s never-enough- 
to-be-lauded colored cook, who, as I think I have some- 
where informed the readers of the Journal before, was 
the remote cause of the French Revolution, and the 
death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, was just 
as skillful in preparing and cooking in perfection, dishes 
in which flour, rice, and all other eatables whatsoever 
entered as component parts, as she was in making 
and baking jonny-cake ! Never while I live, whether 
in this world or in the next, shall I forget, I feel sure, 
Aunty Phillis' apple dumplings, made with a thin 
crust, and a cat-head apple quartered and cored, in 
each of them, as big as a good sized pumpkin. For 
Phillis used to say there was ' ' nothing on airth she 
so 'spised as an apple dumpling with a crust as thick 
and hard as a jonny-cake board, with no cat-head in 
it." And then her rice puddings, which were always 
made in a six-quart pan, filled chock full, for Phillis 
used frequently to remark that if there was ' ' anything 
on airth she 'spised more than another, it was a half- 
filled pan of rice pudding." 

As I think I may have hinted before, when I was a 
pickaninny, the Guinea word for a small boy, I used 
to sleep in a big room near upon twenty feet square, 
and I remember just as well now as I remember any- 
thing, how, when on waking in the morning, with 
an appetite as keen as the frosty air, I used to lie with 
[ 108 ] 


my eyes fixed on the ceiling just at the south-east 
corner of the chamber, and fancy to myself a great 
platter of apple dumplings, almost swimming in sugar 
sauce, standing there on a shelf, all of which I de- 
voured, each one atone mouthful ! Then I would place 
next west of the empty platter one of Phillis' huge rice 
puddings made to overflowing in a six-quart milk pan, 
which, too, I would swallow on top of the dumplings 
at one gulp, and so I would follow, in my imagination, 
another and another platter of apple dumplings, all 
made of big cat-head apples, and another and another 
rice pudding, chock full to the brim of the pan, until 
the south-west cornerof the roomwas reached, devour- 
ing each and all in turn, without it satisfying my hun- 
ger in the least. So I would turn the south-west corner 
and arrange the delicious dishes alternately on the 
shelf until the north-west corner of the room was 
reached, and so on again to the north-east corner, and 
down to the south-east corner, the place of beginning, 
I swallowing greedily every apple dumpling and rice 
pudding in turn, as fast as I came to them, and then 
cried because there was no more room, not in my 
stomach, but on the all-around shelf for any more. 
Ah, those were glorious days when boys and gals were 
boys and gals, fit to make men and women of, and not 
as — but as comparisons are said to be odious, so I 
will not say what I was going to remark. 

Then there were Phillis' muffins ! It makes me fetch 
a long sigh to think of them even at this late day, more 
than seventy years, the fabled age of man, nothing 
being said of that of woman, after I have tasted them ! 
But, then, such a taste! A taste that no mortal with a 


sign of a palate in his mouth if once tasted can ever 
forget! Why, I just remember when a genial, bald- 
headed New York doctor whose Christian and sur- 
name, if I remember, began with an F and an S, or 
with an S and an F, I can't say which, stopped over 
night at my grandfather's on his way to Newport. We 
chanced to have muffins for breakfast, and Phillis added 
a round dozen to the usual batch for fifteen members of 
our family, great-room and kitchen folks, all told. But 
such a bolting of muffins no mortal, I am sure, ever be- 
held before ! One, two, three, four dozen were swal- 
lowed in quick succession by my grandfather's genial 
young friend, and he had got far into the fifth dozen 
when Margaret, the colored waitress, whispered to 
my grandmother that the mixing was clean gone ! Up 
to this time the doctor had been the jolliest and most 
loquacious good fellow that ever sat down to a Narra- 
gansett breakfast table. But no sooner were the muffins 
all sped, than a most extraordinary change came over 
his spirit, and not a word could be got out of him but 
simply, "Muffins." Said my grandfather, "Doctor, 
let me recommend these hot Maryland biscuits! Our 
cook prides herself especially on making the best Ma- 
ryland biscuits to be found in America. " Muffins ! ' ' 
quoth the doctor, as he stared inquiringly into my 
grandfather's face. "Let me help you, doctor," said 
my grandmother beseechingly, ' ' to some of this cream 
toast; it looks very nice!" "Muffins! " retorted the 
doctor, l ' Muffins ! " It was no go ! Words were wasted 
on the doctor. Phillis' enrapturing muffins had pene- 
trated and dislocated his brain, and until the doctor's 
premature death which occurred some months after- 

C no ] 


ward, he was never heard to pronounce any other 
word than muffins. After his demise, the Manhattan 
Allopathic College of Physicians made a careful post- 
mortem examination of all the organs of the defunct, 
and decided unanimously that the death of their illus- 
trious professional brother was caused by the mortal 
disease set down in Galen's infallible books as mujfina 
dislocano braineo, which occurs they said but very sel- 
dom, and then only in the Narragansett country in 
Rhode Island, where colored cooks and witchery are 
closely allied and most abound. 

Touching that Cat Story No. 2, I will here remark 
that it was after this wise, barring the following ne- 
cessary preface. In the olden time when Providence, 
Bristol, and Grinnage were nowhere, Newport, Tower 
Hill, and Little Rest 6 were the chief compact towns 
in Rhode Island. After the Revolution, Little Rest be- 
came one of the capitals 7 of the state, where the county 
courts, removed from Tower Hill, sat, and the Gen- 
eral Assembly held an annual session. The origin of 
its unique name is uncertain. Some hold that it origi- 
nated from the multitude of lawyers that used to reside 
and assemble there, who made it their chief business 
to involve everybody they came in contact with in quar- 
rels and law-suits, that they might profit thereby, thus 
giving their clients Little Rest. Others say that the 
name was not conferred on the village until after the 
General Assembly held its annual session, at which 
time the public accommodations were so limited, that 
the members of both houses were obliged to sleep four 
in a bed, heads and points, to make better stowage. 
Of course there could be but little rest under such cir- 


cumstances, and hence the name Little Rest. From all 
I can learn, I think, however, the name was of earlier 
date than the creation of the General Assembly of the 
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 
and grew out of the fact that in the olden time, Little 
Rest was the home and headquarters of a class of 
men who were peculiarly addicted to inflicting practi- 
cal jokes not only on one another, but upon all tempo- 
rary visitors to the village, and thereby giving their 
victims but little rest. I could fill many volumes Math 
scores of Little Rest anecdotes of this kind that rival 
in "bodily wit," as lawyer Joe Aplin would designate 
it, and humor, anything to be found in Cervantes, 
Smollett, Fielding, or Scott, had I their genius to relate 
them with fitting terms and accompaniments. Con- 
spicuous among these practical jokers since my mem- 
ory were ElishaR. Gardner, Deputy Sheriff; Abel Cot- 
trell, Sergeant in the Courts; Matthew Waite, who 
for very many years was clerk of the Supreme Court ; 
one Cook, a journeyman hatter in the employ of old 
Cyrus French, arid several others of like kith and dis- 
position. I will just here remark in parenthesis, that 
I see by a supplement of the Bulletin of November 7, 
1874, kindly loaned me at my request by the Hon. 
E. R. Potter, that among many scores of interesting 
reminiscences connected with Little Rest, now Kings- 
ton, contributed by Mr. J. P. Helme to the Journal, in 
a valuable four-column article, is a notice of the death 
of Abel Cottrell, who I know was a most amiable and 
conscientious man, respected and beloved by all who 
knew him well. One morning Abel opened the court 
as usual, with the ringing summons to all comers — 


"Hear ye ! hear ye ! hear ye ! all persons having busi- 
ness before the Supreme Court now being held for 
and within the county of Washington, draw near and 
they shall be heard. God save the State of Rhode Island 
and Providence Plantations." This was the Court 
Crier's last proclamation, for immediately on its con- 
clusion Abel sat down in his customary arm-chair, 
dropped his chin on his breast, and immediately 
expired without sigh or groan. As I should not have 
space to finish my Cat Story No. 2 in this paper, I will 
e'en defer it to another, and give the outlines of a few 
of the pranks of the Little Rest Club of Good Fellows, 
hence the name since adopted, as a sample of scores of 
others I have heard related or been cognizant of. 

There used to live in the north-west corner of the 
town of Exeter, in Washington county, one Willard, 
who was held by the Narragansetters to be the loud- 
est laugher in the state, if not in New England. It so 
happened that some Tivertoners from Newport county 
attended the court on some occasion, who contended 
with the Little Resters that one Durfee, of their town, 
and not Willard, was the champion laugher of Rhode 
Island. It was finally agreed by the rival contestants 
that at the next term of court, Willard and Durfee 
should be induced to meet unbeknown to each other, 
under some convenient pretext, at the Tom Potter 8 red 
house, then a tavern, that still stands on the south-west 
corner of the cross-roads, some fifty or more rods from 
the court-house. Accordingly, at the next term of court, 
the two disciples of Democritus were on the spot, each 
attended by his special friends and backers, who under- 
stood exactly how to draw their respective proteges out. 


After the glass had circulated freely, a story was 
told by a friend of Willard's to suit the occasion, that 
caused an explosion from his lungs that fairly shook 
the house. When Willard had subsided, a Tiverton 
man told another appropriate story that caused Durfee 
to explode in a key that fully equaled Willard's out- 
burst. Judge Wilcox was then holding a term of the 
Common Pleas, and when he heard the two loud re- 
ports from Willard and Durfee, thinking it must be 
the rumbling of distant thunder, he beckoned Sheriff 
Sam Allen to his side, and whispered in his ear to go 
out and see from whence the thunder came from ap- 
parently a clear sky. Allen quickly returned and told 
the judge that there was not the least speck of a cloud 
to be seen in any part of the heavens. Just at that mo- 
ment the object was revealed to Willard and Durfee 
that was had in view in bringing them together — 
on which announcement such a concurrent burst of 
laughter broke from both of them in unison, that the 
court-house shook and Judge Wilcox, panic-stricken, 
supposing an earthquake to be on hand, informally 
adjourned the court and darted out of the house, fearing 
it was about to fall on his head. 

I remember when there used to live, some forty or fifty 
years ago, in a tenement belonging to the late Hon. 
E. R. Potter, that stood on the west side of the road 
leading south a short distance from the aforementioned 
Tom Potter house, an old Irishman by the name of 
Benjamin Storer, a day laborer. Storer kept a pig, of 
course, and the finest, in his own estimation, of any 
on Little Rest Hill. So proud was Storer of the beauty 
of his pig that wherever he went he made it the chief 

£ 114 ] 


subject of conversation, so that Storer and his pig be- 
came a by-saying in the village. Storer worked a great 
deal for his landlord, in his garden and otherwise, and 
often interceded with him to bring some of his friends 
to his house, that they might admire his pig. So one 
day, whilst the General Assembly Avas sitting at Little 
Rest, Mr. Potter announced to Storer that Governor 
Fenner and some half a dozen or more of the most dis- 
tinguished members were to dine with him on the next 
day, and that he would invite them after dinner to go 
over and look at his pig. Storer, of course, was highly 
gratified at this announcement, and so soon as the sun 
set, the then limit of a day's work, he went through 
the village, telling everybody he met of the honor that 
was to be bestowed on his pig by the Governor and his 
friends. Among others, Storer imparted a knowledge 
of his good luck to Squire Matthew Waite and Deputy 
Sheriff E. R. Gardner. When the morrow arrived, the 
services of both Storer and his wife Hannah were re- 
quired at Mr. Potter's, so that the pig was left alone. 
After dinner Mr. Potter called Storer from the garden, 
and told him the Governor and his friends had con- 
cluded to go over and look at his pig. So the delighted 
old man started off a few minutes before his distinguished 
visitors to make all things ready. Soon after, Mr. Potter 
accompanied by Governor Fenner and his other guests 
arrived on Storer' s premises, where a most extraordi- 
nary sight met their vision. There they beheld the usu- 
ally courteous, staid, and self-poised old man, storming 
with rage as he tore the hat from his head and stamped 
it into the ground. "What," said Mr. Potter, "is the 
matter, Storer; are you crazv?" To this query no in- 

l US ] 


telligible answer could be got from Storer, who tried to 
reply, but could only give utterance to a jumble of un- 
intelligible words, in which "Gardner," "Wake," 

Lunt, " " shave, "and "pig" were the chief burthen. 
On looking into the pen, the mystery was quickly 
explained. There stood Storer's beautiful pig, shaved 
from his snout to the tip of his tail as clean as the palm 
of a baby's hand. Not a hair nor the ninth part of a 
hair, nor the stump of a hair, was left upon the ani- 
mal's body, head, ears, limbs, or tail. The provocative 
to laughter was irresistible, and such a roar went forth 
from all the company present, that soon every man, 
woman, and child within a mile, including the mem- 
bers of both houses of the Assembly, rushed to the 
spot to find out what was the matter with Storer and 
his pig. 

I suppose some may think that it was not possible 
anybody should laugh loud enough to be heard a mile 
off. Such ignorant persons should remember that the 
men of that day, especially in Rhode Island, were not 
such weak-lunged creatures as those of the present de- 
generate times. Mr. Potter was a man full six feet high, 
and weighed more than two hundred and fifty pounds, 
whilst old Fenner, though not quite so tall as Potter, 
was more than twice as big round, and of course held 
twice as much wind, whilst they were both gifted with 
stentorian lungs. Some faint idea of Potter's power of 
blowing, and consequently of loud laughing, may be 
guessed at by the fact that one day whilst a little snip- 
per-snapper who sat about ten feet back of him, in the 
General Assembly, then in session at Little Rest, was 
speaking, he made some saucy remarks touching the 
[ US ] 


South County, when Potter, without leaving his seat, 
merely turned his head round, and at one puff blew the 
little fellow clean out of an open window, although the 
impertinent chap could not have weighed much less 
than seventy-five pounds avoirdupois. It was a two- 
story window, and the poor fellow might have cracked 
his skull were it not that in his fall he lighted directly 
on top of old Prince Robinson's gingerbread and apple 
stand. Prince said that when he first came down he 
thought it was the Demerara monkey that had just ar- 
rived on the hill in the show, but on observing his pate, 
he said he saw at once he had not enough brains for 
a monkey, and was only a Providence-county lawyer. 
In the sequel it came out that when Storer, the even- 
ing before, revealed to Squire Waite and Sheriff Gard- 
ner the fact that the chief dignitaries of the state were 
to make his pig a complimentary visit the next day, 
they thought it a good time to have a little sport at the 
old man's expense. As if to favor Waite and Gardner 
in their wicked design, there lived at the time a little 
west of the Corners, on the north side of the main street 
of the village, old William Lunt, who held two respon- 
sible offices during the Revolutionary War, being a 
major in the army and General Washington's barber, 
both at the same time. After the war, the major settled 
in Little Rest and made a very comfortable living by his 
trade, as every man who came to the village was willing 
to pay for at least one shave by Washington's barber, 
especially when it was done with the identical razor that 
Major Lunt took especial care to inform his customer 
had smoothed the face of theFather of his Country hun- 
dreds of times. It so chanced that the major, though an 

I »7 3 


honorable and honest man — my brother Joseph erected 
a monument over his remains — was somewhat jealous 
of his neighbor Storer's pig, because he took great pride 
in one he himself possessed, regarding which Storer had 
been heard to make invidious comparisons when con- 
trasting it with his own beautiful animal. The conse- 
quence was that when Waite and Gardner went over 
to the shop and tempted Washington's old barber with 
a ninepence, the price of four shaves, to go with them 
and denude Storer's pig, he readily consented. So the 
three conspirators went over to Storer's house whilst 
he and his wife Hannah were doing a day's work at 
Mr. Potter's, and after dosing his pig with a delicious 
mixture of milk and molasses, sweetened with a pint of 
new rum, Waite and Gardner seized the unconscious 
animal and held him handy, whilst Lunt, with his 
George Washington razor, shaved him from the tip 
of his snout to the end of his tail, as clean and smooth, 
as before said, as the palm of a baby's hand. 

Speaking about getting a pig drunk so as to keep 
him still whilst being shaved, makes me think of old 
Deacon Brown, who used to live on the other side of 
Chipuxet river, about a mile and a half south-west from 
Little Rest, making his hogs drunk to keep them still 
while being whipped. Coming home from meeting, one 
Sunday, he found his hogs had broken out of their 
pen into his corn-field, where they had made sad havoc. 
The deacon was dreadful mad, and getting his big ox 
lash he chased the devils round and round, without 
being able to get them out, or even to hit them one 
fair lick. So the deacon, nursing his wrath, waited until 
night when the hogs returned to their bed to sleep. He 

E "O 


then shut them fast in the pen, and the next morning 
mixed two quarts of New England rum with some 
sweetened milk, and made them all drunk, when he 
whipped them to his heart's content. 

Speaking of Deacon Brown brings to my mind Tim- 
othy Crumb's courtship of his daughter, Sally Brown. 

Tim had hired by the month to Squire Champ- 
lin, who lived on a farm a little north-west of where 
the Kingston depot is now situated. Tim had taken a 
shine to Sal, and after three or four sittings up with her, 
had engaged to wait on her to meeting the next Sun- 
day. So Tim got up early in the morning, and after 
getting through his chores and breakfast, he thought 
before dressing up to wait on Sal, he would go to the 
river and wash off. Accordingly he went down and 
undressed, hanging his red shirt, which was a little 
sweaty, in a swamp blueberry bush to dry while he 
was in the water. It so happened that Deacon Brown's 
old bull Wrinkle was lying on a little knoll near by, 
unnoticed by Tim. The sight of Tim's red shirt was 
not at all pleasing to old Wrinkle, who now got up and 
began to paw the ground and bellow. This did not, 
however, move Tim, as he had heard Wrinkle making 
pretenses of the kind several times before. Bime'by, 
however, old Wrinkle made for the red shirt, and be- 
fore Tim could interfere, the enraged beast tossed it 
in the air and then stamped it into the ground, and 
when Tim started to the rescue of his under garment, 
the old sarpent, not apparently recognizing him with 
his clothes off, gave chase to the naked biped, follow- 
ing Tim on the run, bellowing and shaking his horns 
as he went, right into the river. Things began to look 

C 119 ] 


rather squally, and just as the old varmint seemed get- 
ting ready to make a dive with both horns set for ac- 
tion, Tim seized the branches of a swamp white oak 
that hung over the water, and swung himself on a big 
limb out of reach of old Wrinkle, who now placed him- 
self just beneath where Tim sat, roaring at the top of 
his voice and making sundry other threatening dem- 
onstrations. Tim, however, felt safe where he was, so 
far as Wrinkle was concerned, although he had some 
misgivings whether or not Sal Brown might not, in con- 
sequence of his enforced neglect to keep his engage- 
ment, permit that other fellow, Jim Arlington, who, 
too, was after her, to wait on her to hear Elder Northup 
preach. All at once, Tim heard a buzzing over his 
head, and looking up, saw, to his horror, not more 
than two yards above his head, a hornets' nest, nigh 
upon as big as a bushel basket, covered all over with 
the worst kind of black hornets, who, he could readily 
see, were getting ready to attack him. Tim took in the 
situation at once, and saw plainly that there was but 
one chance for him, desperate as it was. So seizing, 
with both hands, the limb on which he sat, he low- 
ered himself quickly down a-straddle of old Wrinkle's 
neck, seizing a horn in each hand at the same moment, 
the better to enable him to retain his uneasy position. 
Just as he lighted on the neck of old Wrinkle, about 
two quarts of hornets dropped on Tim's bare neck and 
shoulders, about half a pint of which slopped over and 
fell straight into old Wrinkle's left ear. This did not 
help matters at all, but made the bull madder than 
ever, who now started off on the run for the deacon's 
house, plunging and roaring as he went. Sally Brown 

C 12 ° n 


had dressed herself to go to meeting, and was waiting 
in the great-room for Tim, when hearing old Wrinkle 
making such a catouse, she stepped to the front door 
to see what was the matter. Just as Sally with her arms 
akimbo had placed herself in the open door-way, Wrin- 
kle and Tim reached a high chestnut rail fence that 
was within about two rods of where she stood. Sal 
recognized Wrinkle at first sight, but was somewhat 
doubtful of the identity of Tim, as she exclaimed: "For 
the Lord's sake, is that you, Tim, or the dev — " She 
meant to say devil, and would have done so had she 
been allowed time, but before Sal got the last syllable 
out, old Wrinkle made a desperate dive through the 
fence, making kindling splinters of the big chestnut 
rails, and ejecting Tim with such velocity from his 
neck and horns, that, after making three complete som- 
ersaults in the heavens, the nether parts of his body 
struck Sally Brown about midships, a big toe just graz- 
ing each side of her diaphragm as they passed, more 
like a forked thunder-bolt or streak of lightning, than 
anything with human legs, and knocked her clean 
through the kitchen door, where she fell flat with her 
face towards the ceiling. As for Tim, he gathered him- 
self up without saying a word, and rushed out of the 
back door into the big swamp near by, and pursuing 
a circuitous route in the bushes, recovered his red shirt 
and other clothes, and then made a bee-line west. A 
week afterwards, Jim Knowles, who had been out West 
to reconnoitre, reported that on his return from the Gen- 
esee country, in crossing the Connecticut river below 
Hartford, he passed Tim paddling a white pine log 
with a piece of bark, in an opposite direction, which 

C i« 1 


was the last ever heard of Timothy Crumb in Narra- 

Should nothing prevent, I hope to be able to tell 
Cat Story No. 2 in my next paper, and then proceed to 
show how it came to pass thatPhillis,my grandfather's 
inimitable colored cook, came to be the remote cause of 
the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette. 

[ 122 ] 

Tenth Baking 

SPEAKING of pigs, I may say that the pig has 
always been a very interesting quadruped to me. 
I presume my predilection grew partly out of the fact 
that one of the first lasting impressions made on my 
mind in infancy was the sight of a litter of young red 
and white pigs that old black Peggy brought into the 
kitchen one chilly morning, in her apron, to warm by 
the fire. I don't think I have ever since seen any kind 
of young uns that looked so pretty to me as these little 
striped darlings did. Then again, the first long narra- 
tive I remember to have heard in all my born days is 
that of the old woman and her "wee wee pig." Be- 
fore my grandmother 9 told me that delightful story, 
I thought there were but two real pretty compositions 
in the English language. One of these was: 

"Rock o'by baby on the tree top, 
When the wind blows the cradle does rock, 
When the wind lulls the cradle does fall, 
Down conies baby, cradle and all! " 

The other charming ditty ran thus: 

" Ride a jack-horse to Banbury Cross 
To buy little baby a plum ; 
When we got there the trees would n't bear, 
And so we came jogging home." 

I may here remark in parenthesis, that home used to 
be pronounced "hum," so as to make it rhyme with 
"plum." For one, I am free to say that I don't think 
all the poetry ever made by Homer, Byron, or Long- 
fellow has conveyed so much unalloyed delight to the 

C 12 3 ] 


human senses, or received such spontaneous and un- 
qualified praise from admiring millions as have those 
two litde poems. To every unsophisticated infantile 
mind of the olden time, both of the ditties were indeed 
"like apples of gold set in pictures of silver." But 
nevertheless, I thought when I first heard the story 
of the wee wee old woman and her wee wee pig, that it 
transcended in beauty either the "Rock o'by baby," 
or "Ride a jack-horse," even when they were sung 
with the exhilarating accompaniments of being tossed 
in the arms in the first instance or ridden on the foot in 
the last. 

As wee wee pig involves a striking moral cognate 
to the main subject of these papers, inasmuch as it 
proves the truth of the poet's words, and shows be- 
yond a question what great effects sometimes from 
little causes rise, just as I expect before concluding 
these rambling discussions to show how my grand- 
father's incomparable colored cook, Phillis, was the 
remote cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, simply from the 
fact of her — but I forgot, I was going merely to say 
at present, that for the reasons named, I am more than 
half a mind to relate the wee wee pig, just as it used 
to be told in the olden time by every grandmother in 
Rhode Island to babies who then had a childhood, and 
always came into the world with their eyes shut, and 
not as now with them both wide open and disposed to 
examine and criticise everything they see, or hear told. 
So I will narrate the charming story just as it used to 
be told to me by my grandmother, whose especial fa- 
vorite and pet I was in my childhood, and still remain 
[ 124 ] 


to be, as I most assuredly believe and know, notwith- 
standing the removal to her beautiful new home in the 
spirit world more than seventy years ago ! So here goes. 
There was, once on a time, a wee wee old woman who 
lived in a wee wee house near Cockermouth in old Eng- 
land . One day when the wee wee old woman was sweep- 
ing her wee wee house with a wee wee broom, she found 
a wee wee sixpence. So she took her wee wee sixpence 
and went to market and bought a wee wee pig, and 
started her wee wee pig on the road to her wee wee 
home. The wee wee pig went along very well till they 
came to a bridge, which the wee wee old woman could 
not persuade, coax, or force her wee wee pig to cross. 
So the wee wee old woman left her wee wee pig, and 
went back until she came to a stick. Said the wee wee 
old woman, ' ' Oh, stick, do beat wee wee pig ; wee wee 
pig won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home to- 
night ! ' ' But the stick wouldn't beat wee wee pig ! So 
the wee wee old woman went along until she came to 
a fire. Said the wee wee old woman, ' ' Oh, fire, do burn 
stick ; stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig won't 
go over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! " But 
the fire would n't burn the stick ! So the wee wee old 
woman went along till she came to some water. Said 
the wee wee old woman, ' ' Oh, water, do quench fire ; 
fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, 
wee wee pig won't go over bridge, and I shan't git 
home to-night! " But the water wouldn't quench the 
fire ! So the wee wee old woman went along till she 
came to an ox. Said the wee wee old woman, "Oh, 
ox, do drink water; water won't quench fire, fire won't 
burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig 

C 125 ] 


won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! " 
But the ox would n't drink the water ! So the wee wee 
old woman went along till she came to a butcher. Said 
the wee wee old woman, " Oh, butcher, do kill ox ; ox 
won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't 
burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig 
won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! ' ' 
But the butcher wouldn't kill the ox ! So the wee wee old 
woman went along till she came to a rope. Said the wee 
wee old woman, "Oh, rope, do hang butcher ; butcher 
won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench 
fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee 
pig, wee wee pig won't go over bridge, and I shan't git 
home to-night ! "But the rope would n't hang butcher! 
So the wee wee old woman went along till she came to 
a rat. Said the wee wee old woman, ' ' Oh, rat, do gnaw 
rope ; rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, 
ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire 
won't burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee 
wee pig won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home 
to-night ! ' ' But the rat would n't gnaw the rope ! So the 
wee wee old woman went along till she came to a cat. 
Said the wee wee old woman, "Oh, cat, do kill rat; 
rat won't gnaw rope, rope won'thang butcher, butcher 
won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't 
quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat 
wee wee pig, wee wee pig won't go over bridge, and 
I shan't git home to-night ! " But the cat wouldn't kill 
the rat ! So the wee wee old woman went along till she 
came to a dog. Said the wee wee old woman, " Oh, 
dog, do kill cat ; cat won't kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, 
rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox 

E 126 1 


won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't 
burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig 
won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! ' ' 
But the dog would n't kill the cat ! So the wee wee old 
woman went along till she came to a bear. Said the wee 
wee old woman, "Oh, bear, do kill dog ; dog won't kill 
cat, cat won't kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't 
hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink 
water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, 
stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig won't go 
over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! ' ' But the 
bear would n't kill dog ! So the wee wee old woman went 
along till she came to a lion. Said the wee wee old wo- 
man, ' ' Oh, lion, do kill bear ; bear won't kill dog, dog 
won't kill cat, cat won't kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, 
rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox 
won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't 
burn stick, stick won't beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig 
won't go over bridge, and I shan't git home to-night ! ' ' 
But the lion wouldn't kill bear! The poor old wee 
wee woman was now in a dreadful quandary. The lion 
was king of beasts, and the wee wee old woman didn't 
know anything that could kill the lion. So the wee wee 
old woman sat down on an old stump, discouraged 
and all tired out. Presently the wee wee old woman saw 
a wee little black flea, on her checked apron. So just in 
joke and for nonsense the wee wee old woman said, 
"Oh, wee wee flea, do kill lion ; lion won't kill bear, 
bear won't kill dog, dog won't kill cat, cat won't kill 
rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, 
butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water 
won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't 

C 12 v ] 



beat wee wee pig, wee wee pig won't go over bridge, 
and I shan't git home to-night! " Now the wee wee 
flea was a kind-souled, womanish little wee wee flea, 
and no sooner was she made acquainted with the poor 
old wee wee woman's trouble than the wee wee flea gave 
a spring and lighted just inside the lion's right nos- 
tril, out of the reach of his paw. Here the wee wee flea 
began to bite the inside of the lion's nose so sharp that 
he got dreadful mad, and just out of spite began to kill 
the bear, whereupon the bear began to kill the dog, the 
dog began to kill the cat, the cat began to kill the rat, 
the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang 
the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox 
began to drink the water, the water began to quench 
the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick 
began to beat the wee wee pig, the wee wee pig began 
to go over the bridge, and the wee wee old woman got 
home time enough to go to bed that night. Thus the in- 
significant little wee wee black flea became the remote 
cause of getting the poor old wee wee woman out of 
all her troubles, just as I intend to show how Phillis, 
my grandfather's illustrious colored cook, through a 
concatenation of mighty events, set in motion through 
her means, became the remote cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 
Antoinette. And yet, such is the innate ingratitude 
of human nature, that I scarce doubt if that wee wee 
flea, after doing so much for the wee wee old woman, 
had attempted to get into bed with her that night, so 
as to warm herself a little, the wee wee old woman 
would have pinched her; that is, provided she could 
have caught the flea napping ! 
[ 128 ] 


In addition to the above gems, I may here remark 
that before I was three years old my mother had taught 
me to say that beautiful little prayer of four lines, ' ' Now 
I lay me down to sleep," every night just after I got 
into bed, and on all occasions of anxiety and trouble to 
repeat that beautiful embodiment of all prayer, "Our 
Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name," 
and I don't think I ever lay down once at night in the 
first ten or twelve years of my life without at least be- 
ginning to say the first-named prayer, although I must 
say that I sometimes did fall asleep before I finished 
it. Sometimes I repeated it on other sudden occasions 
when I had not time to repeat ' ' Our Father who art 
in Heaven." I remember when I was a school-boy, 
nigh upon ten years old, I got on the bare back of old 
Bob, one of farmer Truman's big plow horses, to ride 
him to water, Jim Sykes having mounted his mate, 
Suke, and started a few minutes before me. Bob was 
stone-blind, and just as I set out, one rein of my bridle 
broke, and Bob, hearing the clatter of Suke's feet a 
good way ahead, broke into a full run to catch up with 
her. I thought my time had about come, and calling 
to mind my good mother's oft repeated injunction, 
blessed be her holy name, always to pray when in dan- 
ger, I threw myself forward flat on Bob's neck, and 
clung to his mane with both hands for dear life, whilst 
I repeated in my haste : 

"Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep, 
And if I ne'er again awake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take." 

[ 129 ] 


I had hardly finished the last word of my heart-felt, 
though seemingly inappropriate prayer, when old blind 
Bob plunged headlong into a deep gully, that was close 
to the side of the path, as it passed through a gateway, 
and pitched me some four rods, more or less, over his 
head, the small of my back fetching up like the middle 
of a chain shot against a big white oak gate-post, so 
that as farmer Truman said, my head and heels came 
together on the other side of it. The strangest part of 
all was, that I was not hurt one atom, and jumped up 
as well as ever ! Now I have a firm and abiding faith in 
the efficacy of prayer, and am just old fool enough to 
believe that the earnest childish aspirations that went 
forth on the occasion from my heart and inmost spirit 
irrespective of the mechanical expressions with which 
they were clothed, were sufficient in the divine economy 
and beautiful simplicity of God's laws to penetrate the 
spirit realms, and create, as it were, a telegraphic com- 
munication, through which loving, ministering angels 
were enabled to descend and shield me from harm, as 
they do in myriads of instances wherein the preserva- 
tion of mortals is attributed to blind chance. 

To return from this digression , I may say that I knew 
old Major Lunt, Washington's barber, who shaved 
Storer's pig, quite well, and used to be fond of talk- 
ing with him about Revolutionary times and General 
Washington. I disremember the time when the Major 
told me that the General excelled all other men in every- 
thing, not excepting swearing, whatever the ministers 
might say to the contrary. He said if I did n't believe 
him, I ought to have been present when the General 
first met Lee on the battle-field at Monmouth, the latter 
C ISO ] 


having for some time kept out of the fight purposely, 
not because he was a coward, but to throw obloquy on 
Washington, whose place as commander-in-chief Lee 
aspired to. Major Lunt said he was standing close to 
Washington at the time, acting as his aid. Two six- 
pounders, one on each side of them, were playing on the 
enemy, and all the way Lunt said he could tell when 
they were discharged was to watch the mouths of the 
cannon and see the fire and smoke go out, for he could 
no more hear their report for the quarter of an hour 
Washington was damning Lee than I could hear the 
finest cambric needle fall on a hay mow in a thunder- 
storm ! I used also to know Squire Matthew Waite — 
Mat Waite, as he was commonly called — who, among 
many other accomplishments, had a remarkable fac- 
ulty of scaring a hog — simply by catching its eye with 
his and then making a quiet under-breath hissing 
sound. I also knew old James Helme, — Jimmy Helme, 
— a son of Judge Helme, who removed from the home- 
stead on Tower Hill to Little Rest when the state and 
town capital was removed to the latter place, he being, 
for a great many years before his death, Town Clerk, 
whilst his brother , Samuel Helme , — Sammy Helme , — 
was for a long time clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. 
They were both red-hot Republicans, in contradistinc- 
tion to Federalists, but men of sterling probity and 
unblemished character, like their father, Judge Helme. 
It used to be said that Jimmy Helme, though a mar- 
ried man and housekeeper for half a century or more, 
never once took tea out of his own house. Mr. Helme 
lived in the large gambrel-roofed house 10 now standing 
on the corner of the road-crossing, which 

[ 131 ] 


was built after the pattern of the old Judge Helme 
house on Tower Hill, which is also still standing. I 
remember, when I was young, that Jimmy Helme built 
a strong, high-fence hog-pen for an old sow and pigs, 
he had just purchased, which were of the land-shark 
breed, then common in some parts of the South County. 
This genus of swine were peculiar in some respects, 
being remarkably slab-sided and of great length of 
body, which was attached to the hinder part of a head 
and peaked snout some two yards or more in length, 
with legs of corresponding dimensions. Mat Waite 11 
happened to be passing just as Jimmy Helme had got 
his new purchase secured into the high board pen, and 
Jimmie called him to come and see what a nice hog 
house he had just finished off. "Yes, Mr. Helme," 
said Mat, "you have a nice high pen there, but I can 
drive that old sow and pigs out of it in less time than 
you can say Jack Robin. " ' ' You drive my old sow and 
pigs over that fence, Mr. Waite? Let 'ssee you do it! " 
"Oh, no," said Mat. "I don't want to give you the 
trouble to get them back again, but I can do it, Mr. 
Helme! " You can, can you," retorted Mr. Helme. 
Well, I will believe you when I see you do it, and not 
before." Thus urged, Mat fixed his eye for a few mo- 
ments intently upon that of the old sow, and then made 
a peculiar sort of hiss. Upon this the old sow backed 
into the further corner of the pen with her eyes still fixed 
in fear and wonder on Mat. On the repetition of the 
wonder-working hiss, the old sow shrunk, as if within 
herself, and put another twist in her already tightly- 
curled tail. Another hiss, and away she darted like a 
streak of lightning over the high board fence, followed 

C 132 ] 


by every pig in the pen. As for Jimmy, who always 
dressed like a gentleman of the old school, as he was, 
Mat said he laid right down and rolled in the dirt, de- 
claring between his laughing spells that he wouldn't 
have believed the Devil himself could have scared the 
old sow and pigs out of that pen, if he had not seen 
him do it with his own eyes. As for the future of the 
old she land-shark and her litter of pigs, the last that 
was ever seen of them was about a mile south-west 
of the village, just as they passed with the speed of the 
wind the Little Rest cotton manufactory, 12 erected in 
1809, and were entering the Potter swamp, it being 
an off-shoot of the great swamp where the big Indian 
fight occurred in 1675, which was instigated against 
the rightful owners of the soil, solely by the cussed 
godly Puritans of Massachusetts and their hell-bound 
allies, the Presbyterians of Connecticut, whom, though 
charity is my specialty, I can never think of without 
feeling, as all Rhode Islanders should, somewhat as 
Judge Potter has recently expressed himself in the 
Journal, and as old Miss Hazard did when in like 
vein she thanked God in the Conanicut prayer meet- 
ing, that she could hold malice forty years. I could go 
on and tell enough of these Little Rest stories to fill ten 
thousand or less Journals, but I must forbear, or I shall 
never live to tell how it was that Phillis, my grand- 
father's never-to-be-forgotten accomplished colored 
cook, came to be the remote cause of the French Revo- 
lution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie An- 
toinette. Even now I have got myself in such an epi- 
sodical maze, that I feel like taking an observation, as 
Frank did, to find out where I be. Frank, whom I re- 


member well, was a well-educated scion of a good Rhode 
Island family, who had acquired dissipated habits, and 
used to loaf about the South Ferry in Narragansett, 
which was then owned and kept by Ezekiel Gardiner, 
son of Peleg. Frank used sometimes to tend the ferry- 
boat, and I remember an occasion when the late honor- 
able William Hunter was passing over to South Kings- 
town from Newport with the British Minister on a trout- 
ing expedition. Their conversation happened to turn on 
the correct reading of a passage in Virgil, in regard to 
which they did not agree. The wind was very light, 
and Frank, who was tending the boat, was lying flat 
on his back steeringwith one foot thrown over the tiller. 
After the discussion had proceeded some time between 
the two gentlemen, both of whom were thoroughly read 
in the classics, without a satisfactory conclusion be- 
ing arrived at, what was the Englishman's surprise to 
hear the ragged, red-faced boatman, after rolling a 
huge chaw of tobacco from the left to the right side of 
his mouth, repeat at the top of his voice, set to a camp- 
meeting tune, the disputed passage in the original 
Latin, and then give its correct translation in the ver- 
nacular. The English Minister never took his eyes oft' 
Frank until the boat reached the shore, an hour after- 
wards, when, on his expressing surprise at the ferry- 
man's classical knowledge, Hunter told his friend that 
such instances as he had witnessed were not rare among 
the laboring classes in Narragansett, whose everv-day 
talk was seasoned with scores of cant expressions ac- 
quired from the reading of Shakespeare, such as "to 
rights ' ' 13 for directly ; ' ' other gates house than that, ' ' 
as a threat; "on it," for it, &c, &c. It so happened 

C 134 ] 


that a couple of Little Rest wags, whose names I will 
not expose, chanced to get wind bound at Franklin's 
Ferry, now South Ferry, on their way to Newport, 
and knowing of Frank's besetting weakness, they 
thought they would beguile the tediousness of time by 
passing off a bodily joke at his expense. So they plied 
Frank through the afternoon with all the liquor he 
would hold, until he became dead drunk. In the even- 
ing they carried Frank up into the cock-loft of the old 
tumble-down ferry house, and put him into a huge old- 
time nigger meal chest that had been there time out of 
mind, placing a corn cob under the lid, so as to give 
him air. A grown-up black boy by the name of Jonah 
slept in the cock-loft, whose complexion was. so dark 
that in the dim twilight of his sleeping apartment, 
lighted by one six-by-eight dingy pane only, a round 
piece of ebony placed beside his face would have looked 
like a snow-ball. The wags bribed Jonah with a quar- 
ter dollar, or pistareen, I forget which, to let them orna- 
ment his face and head in a most fantastic style, prom- 
inent in which was a pair of bull's horns still attached to 
a part of the hide, and to report to them the next morn- 
ing what might occur. It seems that Frank slept sound 
until about three o'clock in the morning, when on wak- 
ing, he managed to raise the lid of the meal chest with one 
hand a few inches and make an observation, as I have 
before hinted. Just discerning something in one corner 
that looked like a sleeping place, he called out, "You 
sur ? ' ' Receiving no answer, Frank repeated in a louder 
tone, ' ' I say, you sur ? ' ' " What you want ? ' ' said Jo- 
nah . ' ' Where be I? " inquired Frank . " In hell,' ' replied 
Jonah. Upon this fact being announced, Frank raised 

C 135 ] 


the lid somewhat higher, so as to get his full head out- 
side the meal chest, whilst peering more keenly into 
the surroundings of his room-mate, he queried of him, 
' ' Be you the Devil ? " " No, ' ' responded the black boy. 
'Who be you?" again asked Frank. "I be Jonah! " 
said the darky. By this time Frank's vision had become 
more reconciled to the dim atmosphere, and scanning 
Jonah's head-dress, complexion, and features more 
closely, he remarked, ' ' Well, I don't wonder the whale 
spewed you out ; ' ' adding, ' ' Look yer here, Jonah, you 
have been in these parts longer than I and must be 
better acquainted. Can you show me where I can get 
my bottle plenished with old Jamaike?" 

C 136 ] 

Eleventh Baking 

I SEE nothing serious now in the way to delay my 
telling Cat Story No. 2, after which I propose 
narrating how it came about that my grandfather's 
super-excellent colored cook, Phillis, came to be the re- 
mote cause of the French Revolution, and the death of 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. To begin: there used 
to live in a house situated on the south side of the Ferry 
wharf, in Newport, where Charles P. Barber now keeps 
an extensive grocery, an odd character by the name of 
Charles Comstock, who kept a boarding-house, princi- 
pally for the accommodation of Narragansett farmers, 
who were in those primitive times frequently obliged to 
stay a week in town before they could find purchasers 
by the bushel or less for the fifty bushels of the divin- 
est kind of ambrosia they had carted with their ox- 
teams to and from the mill, then ten to twenty miles 

I 137 H 


distance to the South Ferry, and thence by water to 
Newport via Conanicut. Old Comstock, as he was fa- 
miliarly called since my remembrance, had for his tav- 
ern sign swinging on hinges over the sidewalk, the full- 
length picture of a thick-set, squat-built man, holding 
a big tom-cat aloft by the tail in his left hand, whilst 
he grasped a hot iron in his right, in the act of brand- 
ing the quadruped. I think I remember seeing this 
sign hanging in position when I was a boy. Robert 
Sherman, who keeps the A No. 1 grocery next west of 
Barber's, tells me that he remembers seeing the sign, 
but not until after it had been taken down and removed 
into the inside of the house. But then Robert is not 
so old as I am by some years. Beneath the picture 
of the man and cat was printed in large capitals, 
'"Lisha Garner, Cat Inspector." The cause of old 
Comstock's adopting so singular a sign I will relate, 
premising my narrative with a few remarks by way of 
preface. The well and always favorably known tav- 
ern, 14 now called hotel, on Little Rest or Kingston Hill 
or Potter's Hill, now kept by John N. Taylor, suc- 
cessor to his father, the late Philip Taylor, was founded 
more than a century ago by Joseph Reynolds, a host 
of such surpassing genius in his professional line that 
his house became as famous a resort for the wits and 
good fellows in Rhode Island as Will's Coffee House 
was in London in the days of Queen Anne, when it 
was the habitual gathering place of Addison, Steele, 
and the literati and wits of England in general. I never 
knew the even tenor of Joe Runnells to be broken in 
upon but once, and that was when he struck, in about 
the year 1815, for a higher price for a dinner, which 
C 138 ] 


had always been twenty-five cents from a time anterior 
to the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The whole of 

Uhc &at tJTUfiector-. 

the Town Council had been accustomed to get a sump- 
tuous dinner at Joe's at the monthly meeting, and when 

C 139 ] 


Joe struck for the high price. of two shillings, 33^ 
cents, Rhode Island currency, the council also struck, 
and refused to dine at all on Little Rest for some months 
and until Joe succumbed and put back his price to 
twenty-five cents instead of thirty-three. After Joe Rey- 
nolds' decease, his son John, one of the most genial and 
amiable men I ever knew, succeeded his father as land- 
lord. Some men have a habitual smile that exhibits it- 
self on the cuticle of the face only. Such can smile and 
smile again and be a villain. Not so with John Rey- 
nolds ; his habitual smile emanated from the heart and 
exhibited itself in the eye, which never deceives, so far 
as I am aware. John never left his house to go abroad 
but once in the year, and that was to attend 'lection in 
Newport in May, which he was sure not to miss. The 
old Joe Reynolds tavern looks about the same as it did 
when I first knew it, some seventy years ago, with the 
exception of the honey locusts that still stand in front of 
it, which I remember Jonathan Whitman broughtfrom 
Providence and set out for his friend Joe, some fifty or 
more years ago. That was the third innovation in the 
order of time that occurred on Little Rest. The second 
was the Hon. Elisha R. Potter's new house, which was 
built something after a new-fangled style not previously 
known in Narragansett. The first innovation I remem- 
ber well. I think it was made about the year 1805, by 
Cyrus French, who made a bank of earth supported by 
a rough stone wall against the lot adjoining his house 
on the road running down the hill west, and planted it 
with a row of trees still standing. 

I well remember old Cyrus French, who carried on 
the hatter's trade, and after him his son William, the 

C 140 3 


genial, loud-talking, fat man. Old Cyrus was a tall, 
bulky man, who came to Little Rest from Grafton, in 
Massachusetts, where itwas said he had been an active 
participant in the Shays rebellion. Like his son Wil- 
liam, old Cyrus French was a capital story-teller. I dis- 
remember the exact day when he related of a winter's 
evening to the company that usually gathered at Joe 
Runnell's, a remarkable adventure he had whilst on a 
sleigh ride, wherein his horse ran away, and after break- 
ing the harness all to tatters, left him and the sleigh 
buried in a snow-bank full ten feet deep. After extricat- 
ing himself, he proceeded on foot some distance, look- 
ing, without success, for assistance, until he came to 
some men mowing grass in a field, who went with him 
and helped lift the sleigh out of the snow-drift and re- 
instate his horse. After Cyrus had finished his story, 
Capt. Bill Rodman, who happened to be present, re- 
marked in a way he had, "Stranger, I never saw you 
before, and I don't know as I shall ever see you again, 
but this I will say, that I should like to know whether 
grass is grown fit for the scythe in Massachusetts when 
snow lies all around in banks ten feet deep, as you have 
stated?" "I stated no such thing," retorted Cyrus. 
' The snow-bank was in Massachusetts, as I said, but 
the men were mowing more than a mile this side of 
the Rhode Island line! " The answer was satisfactory 
to all present, and French was at once installed by a 
unanimous vote, a member of the "Little Rest Club 
of Odd Fellows." 

I may here remark that Capt. Bill Rodman was a 
character! He was once overtaken with a sudden and 
violent squall of wind as he and another man were 

C 141 ] 


crossing the Point Judith salt pond in a canoe, when 
their lives were actually in jeopardy, but all the con- 
cern the captain expressed was his vexation that 
one like him, who had safely navigated and circum- 
navigated the globe in every direction, should at last 
come home to be drowned "in a d — d little duck-pud- 
dle! " 15 A pompous English traveler once put up for 
the night at "Joe Runnell's," who sought to entertain 
the usual evening company with the relation of many 
hair-breadth escapes from death he had experienced in 
many ways. Finally he gave an account of a remark- 
able duel that had taken place in Holland, in which he 
was second to one of the parties. I forget the circum- 
stances that brought the seconds in danger of their lives, 
but they were so awful that the Englishman wound 
up his relation of the affair with the remark, "To tell 
the truth I did then feel a little afraid." Capt. Bill, 
who had hitherto remained silent, put in his oar and 
remarked: "Stranger, I never saw you before, and I 
don't know as I shall ever see you again, but this I 
will say, that them last words of yours rattled in my 
ears the most like truth of anything I have heard you 
say yet." Upon this the stranger subsided for that 

Speaking of old Cyrus French makes me think of 
Timothy Peckham, father of Nathaniel C. Peckham, 
who owned and occupied the house that used to stand 
next to the court-house on the east by north. Timothy 
Peckham was a man of the true Rhode Island grit, 
who Mould contend for a principle if it amounted to 
but the ninth part of a hair. I also well remember his 
father, who nearly a century ago owned and lived on 


the farm lying north of the Rocky Brook manufac- 
tories. His head was as white as snow, and he was one 
of the most venerable -looking old men I ever saw. Old 
Cyrus French and Timothy Jun. got involved in a 
law-suit some sixty years ago about a bar-post that one 
or the other of the litigants, I forget which, charged, 
extended full two inches over his side of the line . Neither 
party would give way, so at it they went, until the 
lawyers and judges as usual kept the parties in court 
until they had nearly bankrupted both, and when 
finally, afteryears had passed, and the jury was sent by 
the court to examine the situation of the bar-post, it 
was found that during the period of litigation the part 
in dispute had so rotted away that the alleged cause 
of action no longer existed, and the case was dismissed 
with costs for defendant. I do not remember what effect 
the expenses of the law-suit had on French, but if I 
remember rightly they were so heavy against Peck- 
ham that he was obliged to sell a considerable part of 
his real estate to enable him to foot the bills. Whilst 
my hand is in, I will just say that at the eastern cor- 
ner of the court-house lot and the main road is situated 
the saddler's shop and house that was owned and oc- 
cupied in the olden time by John T. Nichols, the sad- 
dler, one of the kindest and most innocent men that 
ever lived in Little Rest or elsewhere. Nichols kept a 
boarding-house for a great many years, during which 
he charged one dollar per week for board and lodging 
only, and gave his guests good fare, including fine 
Rhode Island turkeys in their season. If readers ask 
how it was possible to board men at so low a price, I 
answer the fact of its being done proves it was possi- 

C !43 ] 


ble, whatsoever modern wasters of the good things of 
earth and impracticable theorists may say. In those 
days money was scarce and farmers paid their sad- 
dler's bills, as well as most others, in kind, that is, in 
the produce of their farms, which Nichols, by taking 
boarders, turned into money. William P. Newell, the 
former law partner of Nathan F. Dixon, of Pawca- 
tuck Bridge — now Westerly — boarded with John T. 
Nichols for many years. He used to sit at one end of 
the table, which was long and narrow, and Nichols 
at the other. Newell was very tall and scraggy in 
his build, with a wonderful prominent hooked nose, 
which, it used to be hinted, was the cause of Nichols 
placing him at the end of the table, as it was found, 
when he was seated on one side, his olfactory member 
would occasionally get entangled in the lady's stom- 
acher who sat opposite him, the table being but four 
feet wide. John T. Nichols died a violent death, being 
murdered with a lancet by Dr. Sangrado. His blood 
got into an impure, morbid state, which on occasion of 
his one day pricking his finger with a saddler's needle 
caused the foul matter in his system to concentrate in 
that direction, so that his hand and arm swelled double 
its natural size. Instead of giving his patient a dose of 
bilious pills, and a powerful hot water and hot lem- 
onade sweat, 16 which would have removed the trouble 
in a few hours, Sangrado applied as usual the lan- 
cet, thus drawing from his veins the purest part of 
the blood, and leaving the remainder to congest and 
putrefy in the body until death ensued, as the natural 
consequence. A few days before Nichols' death, San- 
grado had also slain a poor woman who resided a 

C x 44 ] 


little north of Little Rest, in the same way, who had 
scratched her hand with a blackberry briar, her arm 
swelling inconsequence, as Nichols' did. A few days 
after Nichols' death, I chanced to call at Benjamin 
Hull's on Tower Hill, the then post-master, and found 
him sitting despondent in the daily expectation of death, 
from having knocked off a small chip of skin from his 
knuckle with a piece of iron. He had evidently given 
up to die. I asked Hull what he did for his arm, which 
was swollen to the shoulder and supported in a sling. 
He said Dr. Sangrado had been there two or three 
times and bled him. Said I, in a rage, "Ben, if you 
want to live, the next time that ignorant doctor comes 
to see you, order him out of your house or death will 
surely be your fate! " I gave him my prescription, 
which he took, and declined being longer treated by 
Sangrado. It is needless to say that in a few days Hull 
was well again and about his business as usual, just 
as Nichols and the woman would have been under 
like treatment. If the graveyards in Rhode Island, 
especially the south part, could speak, they would tell 
us that thousands upon thousands of the young men 
and women who were cut off in the prime of life dur- 
ing the first half of the nineteenth century were sent 
there before their time by the Sangrados that, until 
a very late period, have been a curse to mankind, and 
now do nearly as great execution in the killing art by 
the deceitful action of benumbing and stupefying mor- 
phine and other opiates and narcotics. 

Speaking of M.D.'s, I well remember old Dr. Al- 
drich, who lived some fifty years or more ago in the 
Tom Potter House, that stood at the south-west corner 

C 145 ] 


of the roads running east and south over Little Rest. 
He was a kind-hearted, good old man, whose patients 
were very apt to get well simply for the reason that he 
did little or nothing for them farther than any old wo- 
man could have done as well or better than he. I remem- 
ber once when old Miss Jinny Wilson sent for Dr. Al- 
drich and related to him a host of symptoms sufficient 
to warrant a first-rate scientific physician in exhausting 
an ordinary apothecary's shop with prescriptions, and 
the patient of the last dollar, though they might be as 
rich as Croesus . ' ' And, now, doctor, ' ' said the old lady, 
"do tell what is the matter with me?" "God knows, 
madam," replied the honest old doctor, "I don't." 
Doctor Aldrich 17 made a pill of his own invention that 
used to be sufficient of itself to cure most bilious or con- 
gestive maladies that occurred in his rounds of practice. 
I well remember an instance when a mulatto wench 
who lived in my father's family was taken with what 
were then deemed the fatal symptoms of the fall fever, 
that under the blood-letting and opium treatment of the 
Sangrados used to prove fatal in a vast majority of in- 
stances. My father sent for Doctor Sangrado, who lived 
in the two-story house still standing at Curtis' corner. 
He came to South Kingstown from Connecticut, and 
was held to be the most accomplished and scientific 
physician for the first few years of his practice in the 
South County, never having been known to enter a 
single house in the way of his profession without send- 
ing from one to five of its inmates to their graves. He 
attended the famous medical lectures in Philadelphia, 
and had become a thorough proficient in the Dr. Rush 
method of healing the sick, which was in all cases, let 
[ 146 ] 


what might be the symptoms, first to draw every drop 
of blood that could be got out of the body, and then 
inclose the patient in a close, hot room, and, above all 
things, command that not a drop of fresh water should 
be given them to drink — for the reason that the vile 
natural fluid might interfere with the action of the calo- 
mel and jalap, Dover's powders and opium doses, and 
other death-producing prescriptions, and thereby effect 
a cure of the malady, by an unscientific method not 
permitted by the medical schools. In at least nine cases 
out of ten under the Sangrado treatment patients sank 
into a fever, in the olden time dubbed typhus, which, 
if we are to believe the morphine practitioners of the 
present day, has changed into typhoid, God only know- 
ing the difference, both simply being, in a majority of 
cases, the low fever that precedes death caused by mal- 
practice. The excessive mortality among Sangrado' s 
patients was the real cause of his acquiring such re- 
nown in the art of healing, as about one in ten of his 
patients wholly or partially recovered, which of course 
was credited by an ignorant community to the skill of 
Sangrado, who attributed the death of the other nine 
to the virulence of the mortal malady; whereas the 
truth was, as was in later years fully exemplified, the 
nine were actually slowly tortured to death by the phy- 
sician, whilst the tenth got well in spite of his death- 
dealing practices. This Curtis' Corner Sangrado was 
undoubtedly the rider on the pale horse referred to in 
the Apocalypse, who went about with his lancet and 
saddle-bags stuffed with mercury, jalap, Dover's pow- 
der, opium, and other abominations, and his name that 
sat on him was Death, and Hell followed after him. 

t 147 ] 


It was not until the Curtis' Corner Sangrado had 
decimated the neighborhood that Shepherd Tom, then 
scarcely out of his teens, succeeded in convincing his 
fellow townsmen, that nearly every death by typhus 
fever in South Kingstown was caused by his murder- 
ous practices, and he was finally obliged to leave the 
town and return to the wooden nutmeg state, 18 where 
his father, the Devil, had held sway for more than 
a century, and is not yet expelled from his favorite 
churches and medical schools. 

But to return. When Dr. Sangrado arrived and ex- 
amined his patient, the mulatto girl, he pronounced 
her case extra serious, but thought it possible she 
might be carried through by his consummate skill. 
My father objecting to the use of the lancet, its most 
potent aid was deferred until the next visit of the re- 
nowned doctor. After he left, my father gave the girl 
a dose of Dr. Aldrich's bilious pills, and the next day 
she was well and about her work as usual. In the after- 
noon Sangrado came trotting up to the door on the 
pale horse, with his Pandora saddle-bags, stufFed as 
usual with all the vile poisons of the M.D.'s death- 
dealing trade. After paying the compliments of the 
season Sangrado inquired after his patient. My father 
told him he had given her a dose of Aldrich's pills the 
night before, and that she was now well and at work 
in the kitchen. I wish the whole world could have been 
present on that occasion, so as to have seen the ex- 
pression of the doctor's countenance when notified of 
the health of his patient, and the consequent loss of a 
profitable case. After looking, as it were, nine or more 
ways for Sunday, he seized his saddle-bags that lay 

[ i 4 8 3 


beside him, with a convulsive grip, and as he arose 
from his seat to depart, remarked in a soliloquizing, 
absent tone: "Those pills are devilish things." San- 
grado never entered my father's house thenceforward, 
nor did he ever send in his bill for professional services 
in the case of the mulatto girl, which, in those mod- 
erate-charging days, would have amounted to one 
dollar for the two visits, although at that time there 
resided in New Bedford an old doctor of wide fame as 
a successful physician, who used to charge but four- 
pence halfpenny, 6% cents, for all visits not exceeding 
a mile, and died rich at that. 

The Hon. Elisha R.Potter [father to Judge Potter, 
Lawyer William , Dr . Thomas , and James M . B . Potter] 
was a constant visitor at Joe Runnell's, where he could 
be seen sitting on the stoop nearly every pleasant after- 
noon. He was, while in his prime, the autocrat, not only 
of Little Rest, but of the town and county in which he 
resided, and for many years the most influential man 
in the state, being a natural born great man. His four 
sons are more than an average of the cultivated men, 
but their father in debate, whether in Congress, the 
General Assembly, or in town meeting, could put more 
lightning info twenty words than either of his sons ever 
compressed into as many pages. He was a true Rhode 
Islander, as tender-hearted as any woman, and a firm 
and reliable friend, but woe betide the unlucky wight 
who opposed him in politics, as Lawyer Newell and 
Squire Mat Waite ventured to do, whose eyelids thence- 
forth knew no slumber, neither did their bones know any 
rest. For many years Elisha R. Potter, of South Kings- 
town, and Benjamin Hazard, of Newport, were by far 

C 149 ] 


the most able debaters in the General Assembly, and 
this, too, at a period when I fearlessly assert there were 
more able men versed in the science of government 
within its halls than can now be found in the Congress 
of the United States. Whatever might be their political 
or partisan differences, whilst Potter and Hazard con- 
trolled the General Assembly, the honor and interests of 
Rhode Island were safe, and deeply is it to be regretted 
that with all their faults, their places can no longer be 
filled by men of equal talent and patriotism. 

The estimation in which Squire Potter was held 
may be judged by the fact that the negroes, these nice 
discerners of character, of the olden time, who not only 
held their annual elections for Governor and other offi- 
cers after the manner of the whites, but instituted a 
debating society, which met to discuss subjects of 
interest on Little Rest Hill, the first subject for dis- 
cussion that was entered upon being, "Who makes 
thunder?" which, after some three hours' debate, was, 
by a written resolution, decided as follows: 

Resolved, Magnanimously by this here meeting, that 
while Gor ormighty make the litenin, it takes Massa 
" 'Lisha Potter to make thunder. 

(Signed) "Captain Guy Watson, Esq_., 
' ' Moderator, Chairman and President of this here Bating 
"Siety, held in the Siety's room, on Little Rest Hill, diis 
"here 4th day of July, one thousand eight hundred and 
" fifteen, and in the year of our Lord, Hannah Dominy, 

I think the foregoing will about suffice as a necessary 

preface to Cat Story No. 2, which I will, should nothing 

prevent, try to conclude in my next, after which I hope 

C 150 ] 


to be able to satisfy my readers how it happened that 
Phillis, my grandfather's world- wide-famed colored 
cook, happened to be the remote cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 

c 151 n 



Twelfth Baking 

I THINK I told my readers in my last chapter that 
I would, should nothing prevent, try to conclude 
Cat Story No. 2 in my next number, after which I hope 
to be able to relate the remarkable circumstances that 
rendered Phillis, my grandfather's superlative colored 
cook, the remote cause of the French Revolution and the 
death of Marie Antoinette. So not to be tedious I will 
take up the thread of that story just where I diverged 
from it in my last number. I was about to tell how it 
happened that old Comstock adopted as his tavern sign 
the picture of a fat man holding up a cat by the tail 
with one hand, whilst he brandished in the other a red 
hot branding iron, with the letters "Elisha Garner, 
Cat Inspector," printed in large outlandish capitals 
beneath . It was after this wise : Old Comstock used to 
peddle various Yankee notions in Narragansett out of 
[ 152 ] 


his horse-cart, there never having been up to his day 
a single four-wheeled vehicle in all the Narragansett 
country, the gentry both male and female as well as all 
others esteeming it more manly and womanly to jour- 
ney on saddle and pillion than in any other way. It is 
true that the wealthier classes had for the convenience 
of their wives and daughters when in delicate health, 
the old-fashioned one-horse ' ' shay, ' ' imported at great 
cost from England, but up to the time that Squire 
'Lisha Potter drove home from Congress in a covered 
two-horse carriage, no other four-wheeled contrivance, 
not even an ox wagon, had ever been seen in the Old 
South County. 

The next covered four-wheeled carriage, I think, 
was brought into South Kingstown by James Robin- 
son, the father of William, Ed ward, Atmore,&c. , some- 
where between the years 1813 and 1815, on the oc- 
casion of his bringing his wife home from Philadel- 
phia. I remember Jimmy Robinson's coming home in 
this new-fashioned carriage from the circumstance that 
one morning my father sentme and Sam Rodman, now 
of Rocky Brook, down to the old pier to spread some 
sea-weed that had been tipped up in separate ox-cart 
loads on the lot now owned and occupied by Saunders 
Coates. The sea-weed was of the kind called ribbon 
weed, which to my recollection grew some hundred if 
not thousand feet in length, so that when tangled up 
in the heaps, Sam and I found it very difficult to un- 
ravel. So we concluded to let the ribbons remain until 
they got more mellow with age, and both of us went 
down to the pier dock and got into a boat, aboard which 
we found a long-handled pair of grains, such as are used 

C 153 ] 


for jabbing flounders. We were not acquainted with the 
habits of these fish, but as we pushed off the boat into 
the dock, I chanced to jab the grains into a flounder 
that lay on the bottom, just sprinkled over with sand, 
and hauled it into the boat. Profiting by this hint, we 
were soon able to perceive that the whole bottom of the 
sea was paved, as it were, with flounders, that had a 
way of covering their bodies lightly with sand, leaving 
nothing but their eyes visible. Before leaving, we caught 
eleven of these flounders, weighing from three to seven 
or more pounds each. There were no ten-hour men in 
that day, so Sam and I loitered about the beach until 
near sunset, so that father might not think we left off 
work much before dark. We then strung our flounders 
on an old piece of rope we found washed upon the 
shore, and hung them on a fence stake, I taking one 
end on my shoulder and Sam the other. Although I 
favored Sam in adjusting our load, he found it hard 
work to keep up with me, I being theoldest and, though 
I say it, just the smartest boy that was ever raised in 
Narragansett or anywhere else ; so I went ahead and 
Sam followed in my wake as best he could, stumbling 
and crying, and every now and then tumbling on all 
fours, all the way home. We tried to make a bee-line for 
Rodman's Mill, 19 now Peace Dale, right through Ben 
Robinson's rocky cow pasture, then across the south- 
west corner of Jimmy Robinson's sheep pasture, now 
a part of the Canonchet estate 20 belonging to nobody 
knows who; next over Nat Mumford's pollypod bog, 
now drained and made into a fine meadow by its owner, 
Mrs. Kate Chase Sprague; then over the head of Pet- 
taquamscutt Cove, where old Miss Mumford was mur- 

C 154 ] 


dered by nigger Jim, some two centuries ago, and her 
body sunk in the mud under the water in the cove, 
where it was found some days after by a fisherman 
who chanced to pick up a little ball of knitting-yarn 
on the marsh, which had fallen from old Miss Mum- 
ford's pocket when she was struck by the nigger's 
club because she spoke cross to him the day before, 
she being knitting as she journeyed along in the even- 
ing on her way home from neighbor Clark's, on Tower 
Hill, where she had taken tea. The ball of yarn had 
unwound as the nigger dragged MissMumford's body 
along, the unfinished mitten and knitting-needles still 
remaining with her held by the knitting-sheath, the 
unbroken thread thus affording a clue to the exact spot 
where she was sunk and weighed down with stones in 
the mud . From thence we struck across a corner of the 
Clark farm to the Bowler lot, or Hill pasture, some fifty 
or more rods south of Dorothy's Hollow, where old 
Aunt Dorothy, the Indian squaw, got lost and perished 
under a snow-bank in the great snowstorm of 1780, 
and half as many rods or more east of where the Tower 
Hill house now stands, and past the old tumble-down 
hovel where the old crazy Frenchman then lived, who 
was thought, from his martial bearing and other cir- 
cumstances, to have been an officer in Bonaparte's 
army, and so on by the crying bog in Kit Robinson's 
ground at the head of the Hill pasture brook, where the 
Indian squaw murdered and buried her two little chil- 
dren, and where her ghost used to be seen and heard 
every stormy night when I was a boy, in the near neigh- 
borhood of where their bones lay, wringing her hands 
and weeping bitterly. From thence we turned a little 
C 155 ] 


to the right and struck the old Tower Hill post-road, 
over which old Ben Franklin used to pass on horseback 
twice a year on his way to and from Boston and Phila- 
delphia, just opposite the Major Jeremy Niles house, 
who, if I remember rightly, was the last of the old 
Narragansett gentry I ever remember to have seen rid- 
ing on horseback in a scarlet coat, with a sword by his 
side and amounted black servant behind him. It was at 
this point we met Jimmy Robinson, just as he was about 
to turn, with his new-fangled carriage and all, into 
the Pint Judy drift- way . I shall. never forget it, because 
of the circumstance that he stopped his horses, and 
asking Sam what he was crying about ; the little, sniv- 
eling scamp laid all the blame on me, and he said he 
was crying " 'cos Tommy made him walk so fast! " 
If it were not that I know my impatient readers are 
dying to hear the conclusion of Cat Story No. 2,1 would 
just narrate in a forty to sixty column parenthesis, how, 
when I first began to manufacture, I used to carry for 
years and years wool-rolls about the country to be 
spun on hand-wheels, then bring the yarn home and 
carry it to old Rit Perry to be scoured, and then again 
carry the yarn to Asa Stedman's 21 to be colored ; then 
again carry the yarn all about the country to be wove 
in hand-looms, and then again bring the cloth home, 
and all this done on horseback. How many thousands 
upon thousands of miles I have ridden in that way with 
bundles of rolls and yarn on each side and before me, 
through sunshine, rain, snow, and storm, over bogs, 
stone walls, rocks, swamps, and the devil knows what 
— it would be hard to tell. But readers may get some 
idea of the distance by supposing me to start on the de- 
[ 156] 


gree of latitude nearest Rhode Island and then follow 
in succession every parallel degree round and round 
the outside of the world to the North Pole. Then pitch 
into Symmes 1 Hole and follow every corresponding 
degree round and round on the inside of the world, 
going south, until I reached the South Pole, and then 
again out and round and round in succession every 
parallel degree, going north, on the outside, until I 
reached the Benny Rodman Mill in South Kingstown, 
which has always been held to be the centre of Ancient 
Atlantis, the former summer home of the gods. It is 
truly said that practice makes perfect, which was abun- 
dantly exemplified in my horsemanship in those days. 
To compare me with any modern circus-rider would 
be simply like comparing Hyperion to a Satyr. 

When once mounted, which I used to do by a spring 
from the ground, no horse could throw me off any more 
than he could throw a fly. I have known my horse to 
shake from his back and sides a dozen or less horse- 
flies without disturbing me in the least. The late Hon. 
Wilkins Updike, of Little Rest, that prince of wit, 
geniality, and good fellowship, used to relate at the 
Joe Runnell's Club, how he passed me one Sunday on 
his return from a baptizing in Saucatucket river (the 
Indian for dead man's brook), mounted and giving les- 
sons in dancing to my Narragansett pacer on top of a 
wide-spreading shrub oak bramble-bush. But to return 
from this brief digression. As I was just saying, old 
Comstock, who used to peddle Yankee notions out of 
his horse-cart, happened to bring up one night at Joe 
Runnell's, in Little Rest, where he put up his horse, 
got his supper, and then seated himself in the old arm- 

C 157 ] 


chair for the evening, that stood by the blazing oak-wood 
fire in the north-west corner of the great-room. Soon 
after Comstock was seated, 'Lisha Garner, before men- 
tioned, came in, soon followed by Cook, French's jour- 
neyman hatter. Next to Cook came lawyer John Haga- 
dorn, who, with Garner, was also a member of the 
Little Rest club of good fellows. Hagadorn had emi- 
grated from Rhinebeck, in New York State, and set- 
tled on Little Rest, his sister having married Asa Pot- 
ter, an elder brother of the Hon. Elisha R. Potter, whose 
children were Maria, who married Thomas R. Wells ; 
Eliza, who married Thomas S. Taylor; Julia, who 
married Christopher Comstock, 22 all of whom resided 
on Little Rest, and Asa, who married a daughter of 
Governor Thurston, of Hopkinton City. The sisters 
were all most estimable women, and as for Asa — why, 
if he is not in Heaven, then I don't believe there are any 
good folks there . He was for some years Secretary of 
State in Rhode Island, and afterwards cashier of a bank 
in New York, and later in life he received a handsome 
salary from a prominent insurance company in New 
York, on condition that he would sit a few hours daily 
in the reception room to entertain customers waiting for 
their turn to be served . Asa Potter was an uncommonly 
amiable man, and such was the suavity of his manners 
that he came to be spoken of as the " Chesterfield of 
Kingston." In no instance, save one, which I will re- 
late, did I ever know him to do or say anything that 
could in the slightest degree offend. To the late Wil- 
liam French, of Little Rest, belongs the honor of first 
inaugurating any movement in Washington county for 
the placing of agriculture, that greatest and best of all 
[ 158 3 


human institutions or occupations, on a scientific basis. 
The small beginning made by Bill French has grown 
into such grand proportions that the South County Agri- 
cultural Society now stands second to no other in this 
country. In fact, I think it must be generally conceded 
that the recent able and suggestive address of its hon- 
ored president, Rowland Hazard, of South Kingstown 
(not Providence, 23 as would be claimed by some envious 
city, merely because he burrows with his family in that 
outlandish village a few of the coldest months of the 
year), is the best thing of the kind that was ever deliv- 
ered , either in America or Europe — especially that part 
of it where so fine a distinction is drawn between edu- 
cation and learning, as the latter is now practiced in our 
common, parrot-like schools and colleges. I take pride 
in informing my readers that the writer of these gos- 
siping papers is uncle to a nephew of that name, which 
no doubt accounts for the excellence of the address of 
the nephew of his uncle. But to cut a long story short, 
I will say that I do not remember the exact day when 
Asa Potter and I went to the Court-house in Kings- 
ton to be present at a discussion germane to the sub- 
ject of farming. The meeting, of course, was presided 
over by Mr. William French, who, in an interesting 
address, raised some questions that were very modestly 
controverted by Asa, who quoted Liebig in support 
of his views. "Liebig," replied the President, "who 
in thunder is Liebig? " Upon this Asa blushed full a 
foot above the tips of his ears and seemed threatened 
with convulsions, whereupon I assisted him as quickly 
as possible out of the court-chamber down the stair- 
way, occasionally patting him on the back to prevent 


his strangling until he got fairly out of doors, when the 
sufferer exploded. 

Asa Potter, the father of Asa, lived in the large, red, 
gambrel-roof house that still stands at the south-west 
corner of the road leading south from Kingston, directly 
opposite to where another old Potter house used to stand 
since my memory, that was occupied for a long time 
by Samuel Coy, a journeyman saddler, who worked 
for John Nichols, — and who was an active member 
of the Little Rest Club, — and by Stephen Greene, 
the baker, whose gingerbread ought to have been, if 
peradventure it was not, famed throughout the world. 
Don't I remember it! Baked in fluted cards some eight 
inches square. Ninepence for a whole card and four- 
pence-half-penny for half a card ! Oh, how unlike the 
vile stuff now sold at bakers' and restaurants — molded 
in little toad- stool-shaped patties, made of sour flour, 
rancid grease butter, and spoiled lard, disguised with 
a thousand poisonous compounds, and only half baked 
at that ! Whew ! It raises my gorge to think of the vile 
stuff. It used to be thought that old Stephen Greene had 
possessed himself by some occult means, or magic arts, 
of the recipe for making gingerbread that was used by 
the purveyors of the gods and goddesses, who in for- 
mer times reveled on the delicious ambrosia jonny-cake 
and the other good things to be found nowhere else in 
either world, except in that part of the Ancient Atlantis 
now known as Newport and Washington counties, of 
which Narragansett was always the very pink and 
posy. That Greene may have had such a recipe is ren- 
dered the more probable from the fact that Jemima 
Wilkinson, who then, and until the date of modern 

E l6 ° H 


spiritualism, was the greatest sibyl or spirit medium 
in America, [not excepting Old Stover, of Tiverton, 
Sylvia Tory Art, the colored witch of the Ministerial 
woods in South Kingstown, the witches and wizards 
that were drowned and pressed to death in Salem, or 
the four Quakers who were hung by the wicked Puri- 
tans on Boston Common] had then been for some years 
an occupant of old Judge William Potter's immense 
house called the Old Abbey, that stood about a mile 
from Greene's bakery on the east side of the road lead- 
ing north from Little Rest. It is true there was a baker 
in Grinnage called Cracker Brown, who claimed to 
rival Greene in the making of gingerbread. Brown's 
bread undoubtedly sufficed to tickle the leatherish pal- 
ates of the outside barbarians of that region, but it was 
no more to be compared to Stephen Greene's ginger- 
bread than the semi- Ambrosia, manufactured at the 
old Forge Mill, but recently so much cracked about by 
Grinnager, is to be compared with the genuine article 
that used to be turned out at Mumford's Mill in South 
Kingstown or Hammond's Mill in North Kingstown. 
I cannot call to mind seeing John Hagadorn more 
than once, which must have been at Charles Barker's, 
who kept tavern in the house that I think still stands on 
the south side of the road nearly opposite John Nich- 
ols' saddlery shop, and a little west of the house occu- 
pied by Levi Totten,who was a very efficient officer 
in the American army during the Revolution and 
a good lawyer, although in pleading, owing to some 
affection of the lungs or throat, he was always obliged 
to put in a couple of coughs and twice as many hems 
and haws between every two words. I don't feel sure 
I 16. ] 


whether it was Levi Totten, Lawyer Bourns, or Solici- 
tor Joe Aplin, who, on occasion of Judge Howell mak- 
ing some cutting remarks in a case in which they were 
opposing counsel, took Howell's hat from off the court- 
room table, and wrote ' ' Damned Scoundrel ' ' inside 
it. Howell observed the motion, but said nothing until 
he had finished his argument, upon which he took the 
hat in his hand, and glancing, addressed the 
bench: "May it please your honors, I claim the pro- 
tection of the court. Some gentleman has written his 
name in my hat !" 

I disremember the exact time when I happened into 
Barker's one evening, just as the lawyers returned 
from court, when one of them— I think Nathan F. 
Dixon, of Pawcatuck bridge — opened the kitchen 
door and called out, ' ' Boot Jack ! ' ' Shortly after, a 
dozen-year-old boy, with a shining black face, entered 
the room, and immediately straddled Dixon's extended 
right leg, so that he could take the lawyer's boot firmly 
between his legs. Then, stooping well forward, the boy 
grasped the heel with both hands, whereupon Dixon 
applied his left foot to the posterior or more rounded 
nether parts of Boot Jack, and with a vigorous push, 
shot both Jack and the boot to the other side of the 
room. This operation was repeated until all the law- 
yers present were unbooted. 

Charles Barker had a big boy named Charles, after 
his father, whom I used to know well. He and Boot 
Jack got into a fight one day, in which the black boy 
got the advantage; so Charles, to get even with him, 
rigged out a shingle wind-mill, with a little trip-ham- 
mer attached to it, on the inside of the boarding, just 

C ie 2 2 


over the boy's head, and fixed it up in the gable of the 
dark cock-loft where Boot Jack slept, in the meantime 
setting a long fishing-pole against the mill on the out- 
side to keep it still until the proper time. After all had 
gone to bed and to sleep, Charles stepped out of the back 
door and removed the fishing-pole, whereupon the mill 
began to fly around and set the trip-hammer going. 
Boot Jack, suddenly awakening and hearing the dread- 
ful clatter over his head, made one leap to the ladder 
leading to and from the cock-loft and pitched head- 
foremost into the entry below, right opposite an open 
bedroom door, where a Providence county lawyer 
had got possession of a bed and then kept it for him- 
self alone, in an overcrowded house, under the plea, 
real or feigned, that he had got the itch. "Who the 
hell are you?" cried the conscience-stricken lawyer, 
as he got a dim view of the object on the floor. ' ' I am 
Boot Jack," stuttered out the trembling boy. "What 
brought you here in such a damned hurry?" queried 
he with the Scotch fiddle. "The Devil is up in the 
cock-loft," faltered out the black boy. "How did he 
look? " said the Providence county lawyer, scratching 
himself fit to kill. "Idunno," said Boot Jack. "You 
dunno," repeated he with the itch; "didn't you see 
him ? " "I did n't see him, ' ' replied the terrified boy, 
"but I heard him whetting his teeth! " Like all other 
members of the Little Rest club of good fellows, Haga- 
dorn was fond of passing off practical jokes. One day 
he was accosted in the street on Little Rest by a 
wooden nutmeg agent for the sale of a patent cheese 
press, which he wanted Hagadorn to buy. Hagadorn 
told him that he did not want to buy a press himself, 

C i«s ] 


but that he heard Mr. Turkle, "who lives in that 
house you see," said he, "down on the plain, say the 
other day that his cheese press had ' gin out ' and he 
should like to get a new one." Now the real name of 
the farmer Hagadorn pointed out was John Lamming, 
that of Turkle being a highly offensive nick-name that 
had been put up on Lamming because of his being 
addicted to digging ditches in a bog meadow that was 
on his farm. Sojiown went the cheese-press man to the 
house designated, and knocked at the kitchen door, 
where the family happened to be at dinner. The host 
himself , a stout built six-footer, opened the door, where- 
upon the polite vender of cheese presses queried to 
know whether he had the pleasure of beholding Mr. 
Turkle. " I '11 Turkle you ! ' ' roared the enraged farmer, 
as he took an inch-and-a-half raw cow-hide whip from 
over the door and proceeded to lather the poor agent 
within an inch of his life, ere he relaxed his grip on 
his collar. The disappointed man, groaning with pain, 
managed to get into his horse-cart and drive back to 
Little Rest, where he was told by Joe Runnells, his 
host, whilst settling his bill, that the man who lived 
in the house on the plain, who had so unmercifully 
flogged him, was named Lamming. "I was told," 
said he, " by a beanpole-looking fellow I saw over yon- 
der, that his name was Turkle, but whether it be Tur- 
kle, or Lamming, if I ever live to get away and you 
ever catch me within ten miles of this cursed place 
again, I will give him leave to lam my soul out of my 
body." Hence the origin of the slang word "lam- 
ming ' ' for flogging. I had like to have forgot to mention 
Old Sylvester Hazard, who used to live in the house 
[ 164 1 


formerly owned and occupied by Judge Clark, that 
stood on the east side of the road running south, nearly 
opposite old Storer's house, before spoken of. Sylvester 
was a character. One day he got his acre-and-a-half 
lot of hay all nicely made and raked into windrows, 
ready to draw together and stack, when there came 
up a sudden thunder-shower, such as, when I was a 
boy, most always came every afternoon in the week in 
mowing time, except Sunday, and wet the windrows 
through. Next day Sylvester got his hay dry again and 
raked into windrows ready to draw and stack, when 
up came another shower and soaked it again, until it 
was as wet as a drowned rat. On the next day, after 
a deal of turning and shaking with pitchforks, the hay 
was dried for the fourth time and windrowed, when a 
white cap on a black cloud was seen rapidly approach- 
ing from the north-west. Sylvester's patience now gave 
out, and swearing that he would get even with the 
thunder-cloud, he started on the run to the house and 
came back in like manner with a fire-brand in his hand 
and set fire to every windrow of hay, when all was 
burned to ashes before the rain began to fall. Sylvester 
had a younger brother named John, between whom 
and himself a coolness had existed for many years, so 
intense that they never spoke to each other. Old Jimmy 
Helme, who delighted in making peace among his 
neighbors, had often sought to reconcile the brothers, 
but without eifect. One day as Jimmy was standing at 
the Four Corners with Sylvester, he saw John com- 
ing along on the other side. "Now," said Jimmy, 
' ' do speak to John, and I know he will speak to you. ' ' 
"I would do so, Mr. Helme, to oblige you," said Syl- 

C i«5 3 


vester,"but I know he won't speak to me! " "Well, 
now," rejoined Jimmy, "do just try and see." So 
when John got opposite to where they stood, Sylvester 
halloaed across the street, " John! " John stopped, and 
Sylvester continued, "When are you going to bring 
home that iron bar you stole from me, you thief?" 
Without saying a word John passed on. " There, Mr. 
Helme," said Sylvester, "I told you it would be no 

When on his death-bed, Sylvester relented and sent 
for his brother John. When John came to his bed-side, 
Sylvester told him he would like to make up with 
him before he died, to which John readily assented, 
whereupon they shook hands and exchanged many 
friendly greetings. The interview lasted for an hour or 
more, when John shook his brother's hand, bidding him 
an affectionate good-bye. Just as John was closing the 
door behind him, Sylvester called him back and said, 
"Now, John, we are good friends, ain't we, just as if 
nothing had ever happened? " "Yes, brother Sylves- 
ter, ' ' replied John, ' * that is just as I feel. ' ' ' ' Just so," 
said Sylvester, "but remember, John, this is only in 
case I don't get well again. If I do, why then we are to 
be just as we were before. " " Yes, brother Sylvester, ' ' 
said John, ' ' that is just as I understand it, and should 
have said so before, only I did n't think there was any 
chance of your ever leaving your bed again alive." 
Sylvester Hazard belonged to the strong-willed, odd 
branch of the Hazard family. He was rather litigious, 
and his daughter used to say that she could always tell 
when her father got his case in court, for then he came 
home cross and chop-fallen, whilst in case he lost it, he 
[ 166 ] 


would be in the best of spirits, thinking how he could 
best take hold of his opponents again. He was cousin to 
George and Simeon. George had a capital pear tree in 
his big pasture that tradition held was planted by the 
Goddess Pomona a long time ago, when Atlantis, as 
before said, was the delightful summer residence of 
the gods. He kept nothing but bulls on his premises, 
thirteen in number, because he used to say, he liked 
to hear them roar, and besides that they kept the boys 
from stealing his pears. 

Simeon, his brother, was equally given to horses, 
of which he kept nine, and was all the time quarrel- 
ing with his wife because she would insist upon keep- 
ing a cow, to eat up the feed, as he said, from his 
horses. Simeon had four sons, whom he let grow up 
without education, because, as their father said, they 
knew as much as the Devil by nature, and if he sent 
them to school, they would outwit him. When Sim, 
the oldest son, reached the age of twenty-one he took 
it into his head to attend old Clarke Rodman's, the 
Quaker preacher school in Newport. In the morning 
Clarke named the letters of the alphabet to Simeon 
from A to Z, and in the afternoon called up his big 
pupil to say them in rotation himself. "B," said Sim 
— "Not right," said the master; "try again." Here 
Sim paused and scratched both sides of his head. ' ' B, " 
again said he, with renewed energy. "Not right," 
said Clarke. "Then," rejoined Sim, "the book is 
wrong, or you told me a d — d lie this morning, " upon 
which he threw down his spelling-book and rushed 
out of the school-house — never to enter such an in- 
stitution again. I knew Sim well. He was called the 
C 167 ] 


Narragansett Lawyer, because of his acuteness. 24 I 
find, on looking back, that I have been gossiping so long 
that I have not room to finish Cat Story No. 2 in this 
paper, and must defer it until the next, after which 
I propose to tell how it was that Phillis, my grand- 
father's never-to-be-praised-enough colored cook, came 
to be the remote cause of the French Revolution, and 
the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, as I 
think I have hinted somewhere, once or twice before. 

: 168 n 

Thirteenth Baking 

AS I gave my readers some reason to hope in my 
£\. last chapter, I fully intended to finish up the re- 
markable Cat Story No. 2 in this paper, and might have 
done so, had it not been that John Hazard Watson, of 
Howard street, Newport (who has a cabinet of old-time 
Rhode Island relics and curiosities in his house worthy 
the attention of the Rhode Island Historical Society), 
has since then placed in my hands an ancient dog- 
eared wood-printed, brown paper covered book, enti- 
tled "The Voluntary Confession of Thomas Mount,' 7 
on the last fly leaf of which is written, in big scrawl- 
ing letters, " September the 2 day a.d., 1792, Stephen 
Champlin Book and hand de bout Dis Book Sa. De." 
In passing I may just here say in parenthesis that 
Mr. Watson is descended by the mother's side from 
"Stout" Jeffrey Hazard (hence his classical turn of 
mind), who lifted and carried some rods the blue 
stone 25 weighing sixteen hundred and twenty pounds 
that now lies in front of Rowland Hazard's house at 
Peace Dale, which Jeffrey (or more properly Geoffrey) 
had a sister, who married a Wilcox, who used to take a 
full cider barrel by the chines and lifting it aloft take a 
drink at the bung. The sight of this book reminded me 
that I had forgot to mention in my previous reminis- 
cences the Little Rest jail, where Mount was for some 
time imprisoned. Although he was for a part of the 
time pending his execution manacled and confined in 
the Newport jail, where I think from what Mr. Wat- 
son informs me the iron fetters may still be found — 

[ 169 1 


unless some public defaulter has sold them to some 
junk-dealer or blacksmith. Mount was perhaps the 
most noted house and jail breaker in all the old thir- 
teen states, having made his way into many scores of 
shops and houses and out of nearly every prison in 
North America, until he got into the Little Rest jail, 
which being built mostly of Narragansett white oak 
(the best and soundest ship timber in the world, not ex- 
cepting the live oak of Georgia, and teak-wood of Hin- 
doostan), and lined on the inside with Spanish hoop, 
well nailed with wrought shingle nails faithfully made 
by Nailer Tom Hazard, he found it impossible to per- 
forate, as the unhappy man feelingly laments in his last seems by Mount's story, that he was born 
of reputable parents (Samuel Mount and Mary Dobbs) 
in Middletown, New Jersey, from whence his parents 
removed to New York, when he was about five years 
old. Mount says he began his career of crime in that 
city ; first by playing truant from school, robbing or- 
chards, &c. , up to the time he was eleven years of age, 
when he ran away and shipped with Captain Ham- 
mond for Antigua. After a while he returned and en- 
listed in the American army, but deserted at Valley 
Forge and joined the British at Philadelphia, from 
whence he went with the red coats across the ferries 
to New York — where he engaged in house-breaking 
on a pretty large scale. I pass by a host of narratives 
of thefts, robberies, house and jail breakings, related 
by Mount, until his arrival in Newport, when he al- 
most immediately, in company with one Kelley, stole 

a pair of silver buckles from Mr. , a Jew, and also 

three or four silk handkerchiefs from Mr. Wickham, 

C 170 ] 


whose store they set out to break into, but were disap- 
pointed. After this Mount committed many depreda- 
tions in Massachusetts and Connecticut, until he fell in 
at Voluntown with one James Williams, of whom he 
relates that he told him he was going to Providence to 
get on board Mr. Brown's Indiaman. "I asked him to 
go with me the way of Stonington, and he consented. 
So Williams, Kelley, and I set off to William Stan- 
ton's, where we turned Kelley off, telling him that two 
might keep a secret, but three could not. Then Wil- 
liams, Stanton, and I set off for Hopkinton with the in- 
tention to break a store, but did not succeed; but Wil- 
liams and Stanton took a dozen pairs of stockings off a 
fence. Upon our return to Stanton's, I held the horses 
at the bridge whilst Williams and Stanton broke open 
a mill and took all the meal and corn they could find 
and we carried it to Stanton's house. Stanton next day 
took some of the corn to Rowse Babcock's for rum. 
Next night, Stanton, Williams, and I set off to break 
into Joseph Potter's store. I broke open a mill and took 
a crowbar out of it, and went to the door and broke it, 
and we all three went in, I first and they following. 
Being most forward in this business, I lighted a candle 
and handed down the goods, about seven dollars worth, 
and some money, two or three dollars, and carried them 
to Stanton's house, where we divided them into three 
parts, and cast lots. Williams and I took our shares. 
After giving Stanton out of my share eight or nine 
pounds worth of goods for a mare, and hiding the goods 
under two corn sacks, and under a barn about five miles 
from Stanton's house, we started out for Voluntown, 
where we were apprehended and brought back to Hop- 

c 171 ] 


kinton, where Stanton, I, and my wife were tried for 
breaking open the mill. Stanton's wife and Williams 
were admitted as State's evidence. Accordingly I was 
sentenced to receive twenty lashes, and my wife ten 
(though she was innocent). I paid the fine by giving 
part of my clothes ; then committed to Newport jail, 
and tried for breaking Potter's shop, found guilty, and 
received the sentence of death — and the Lord have 
mercy upon me." Mount was hanged on the north 
side of the road leading west from Little Rest, on a 
plain just beyond a little swale or brook at the foot of 
the hill on land now belonging to Hon. Nathaniel Peck- 
ham. Before being swung off he made a good dying 
confession, which occupies several pages ; closing with 
asking all good people to pray for him, for, said he, "I 
am wicked ; and there are many others in the United 
States perhaps as wicked as myself ; ' ' which brings to 
my mind Sally Schooner's open confession in meeting 
previous to her being admitted a member of the New 
Light Church at Coon ' s Mill (now Wakefield) , in which 
she acknowledged before the minister and brethren and 
sisters assembled, that she supposed "she had been 
about as poor a miserable, harlotry, thievish, good- 
for-nothing tittle-tattling a body as ever lived in South 
Kingstown, but that she nevertheless humbly trusted 
she was an average lot of the church. ' ' So far as I have 
learned, I think it may have been Elder Northup or 
some other minister of one of the numerous out-branch- 
ing sects of the Baptist persuasion, who performed the 
last sacred duties for Mount. The reverend gentleman's 
remarks on the occasion were generally held to be sin- 
gularly appropriate and highly consolatory to the crim- 


inal, who, he declared, having repented and made a 
good confession before God' s appointed minister, would 
doubtless be ushered into immediate glory as soon as 
the soul left the body, closing with a strong appeal to 
all present to go and do likewise with the sainted man 
about to suffer for Christ's sake and the good of his fel- 
low creatures, that they, too, might reap his reward, 
and like him enter at once into the kingdom of heaven. 

As the Elder closed his eloquent discourse, most, 
or all present, shed tears, excepting old Sim Hazard, 
who was heard to mutter to himself, that if his "get- 
ting into Heaven turned upon his becoming ad — d 
thief, then they might set him down as one bound for 
hell ! " I used to hear a good deal of Elder Northup in 
my younger days. He was somewhat of the itinerant 
order of preachers, and passed from church to church 
throughout the state, wherever any of the faithful were 
to be found. It used to be told how, when once in his 
travels, he brought up for the night at Parson Ammi- 
don's, in the north-west corner of the state, Massa- 
chusetts being on the north and Connecticut on the 
west — just the point where the Devil would be most 
likely to raid upon Rhode Island, should he incline 
that way. 

It was late in November, and the evenings quite 
lengthy, and to beguile the tediousness of the time, the 
two parsons sat down to a half-peck of Rhode Island 
greenings (the best apples in the world), a big chunk 
of sage cheese, and a yaller two-quart pitcher of cider, 
and entered into a discussion regarding the exact Scrip- 
tural meaning of the word ' ' Tophet, ' ' as used in the 
Bible. Elder Northup, who was of a practical-matter- 


of- fact turn of mind, argued that it was simply as rep- 
resented in Scripture, a continuous fire kept up night 
and day outside of the gates of Jerusalem, in which 
were consumed the dead carcasses of animals and other 
oifal and filth of the city. Elder Ammidon fully agreed 
with his brother in this version of the word so far as 
the Mosaic dispensation was concerned, which he said 
was merely typical of the most merciful dispensation 
that was to come when ' ' old things were to pass away 
and all things to become new," wherein the refining 
or soul-cleansing process is likened by Malachi to a 
preparation ' ' like fuller's soap ' ' ! The argument wax- 
ing warm, required the replenishing of the two-quart 
pitcher, and black Joe was summoned from the kitchen 
to fill it from the cask in the cellar. Now it so happened 
that just before night a drover had arrived in the vil- 
lage from Pomfret in Connecticut with a small flock 
of sheep, which he had, with the owner's consent, 
turned into Parson Ammidon's lot, adjoining the rear 
of his house. Among the sheep was a monstrous big, 
shaggy-wooled black ram with a pair of double and 
twisted horns as big round at the base as a stovepipe. 
The outside cellar door being open, the old ram found 
his way down to a lot of cabbages that were partially 
buried in a dark recess of the cellar, shortly after which 
the door was closed on him so that he had no way of 
egress, had he felt disposed to leave. With pitcher in 
one hand and a dipped farthing candle in the other, 
Joe proceeded down cellar to draw the cider, as told. 
And just here the mention of a dipped candle brings 
to my mind the origin of the slang phrase, ' ' dipping 
the candle " (so applicable to handlers of other people's 

i 174 ] 


money now-a-days), which was after this wise: A 
Connecticut militia regiment was quartered for some 
time during the Revolutionary War, near the sea-shore 
in Narragansett. One Brown, a corporal, belonging to 
the regiment, was constantly teasing his Captain to ob- 
tain some office for him. One day the Captain informed 
Brown that he had obtained the promise of an office for 
him from the Colonel, if he wanted it — but it was one 
that he could in no way make a farthing out of, his duty 
being simply to count out the candles to the different 
companies under inspection. Brown said in reply that 
all he wanted was an office, he did not care what. So 
Brown was given the office, shortly after which his Cap- 
tain observed that he was smarting up in his dress and 
giving other signs of increased prosperity. Much sur- 
prised, the Captain took Brown aside one day and told 
him if he would reveal to him the secret of his increased 
and increasing wealth, he would not take advantage 
of his confidence, but would leave him to perform his 
duties as he had hitherto done. On this assurance Cor- 
poral Brown invited his Captain to accompany him into 
a cellar near by, where he showed him a big kettle of 
warm water and a whole box of candles (supplied him 
for distribution) strung on candle rods — which, before 
distributing, he was accustomed to dip into the warm 
water a reasonable time and skim the melted tallow from 
the surface. The officer honorably kept the Corporal's 
secret inviolate until the disbanding of the regiment at 
the close of the war. 

Speaking of the Connecticut regiment makes me 
think of its Colonel being invited to a tea party at old 
Sylvester Robinson's, who then owned and lived on 

C 175 1 


the Sprague estate now called Canonchet, near Narra- 
gansett Pier. It was the custom in good society at that 
period for guests to put their teaspoon into the cup 
when they were not disposed for another cup of tea (the 
rule being three cups at farthest), and into the saucer 
when they were. Coming from Connecticut, the Colo- 
nel, of course, knew but little of polite usages, and 
uniformly left his spoon in the saucer when the cup 
was drank. On every occasion of this kind a colored 
man waiter seized the cup and saucer and carried them 
to Mrs. Robinson to be again replenished. The Colo- 
nel had observed that all the other guests at table had 
sat for some time with empty cups before them, so he 
thought that good manners required that he, too, should 
drink the last drop and leave his the same. The weather 
was extremely hot, and the poor discomfited man of war 
had wrung the sweat of his face out of both his napkin 
and handkerchief more than once, until driven to des- 
peration, when his latest cup of tea was drank, and his 
satyrical dusky tormentor reached out his hand to take 
it again, the Colonel seized the saucer with his left hand, 
and brandishing his right fist, exclaimed, "You touch 
that cup again, you infernal nigger, and I '11 crack your 
damned skull ! " To return. 

Scarcely had Parson Ammidon's black boy reached 
the bottom of the cellar stairs, when he heard a craunch- 
ing-like noise in the farther dark corner, and looking 
that way he saw two balls of fire. Horror-stricken, Joe 
returned to his master and told him the Devil was 
down cellar eating up the cabbages. ' ' Nonsense, ' ' said 
the Elder, as he proceeded that way to reconnoitre. 
Scarcely, however, had he descended the stairs half- 

[ 176 : 


way before he, too, became terror-stricken, and return- 
ing quickly, told Elder Northup that he believed on his 
soul the boy was right, and that the Devil had really 
got into his cabbage bin. Parson Ammidon now seized 
the Bible that lay on the table, in his right hand, and 
taking the dim farthing candle in the other, proceeded 
down the cellar stairs, followed by his friend, brother 
Northup. Now, it so happened that Mrs. Ammidon 
(who was a thrifty housewife) had on that very after- 
noon finished making her annual modicum of soft 
soap — which then stood in the cellar, a little to the 
right of the stairs, in a brimfull tub that held about 
two and a half molasses hogsheads. The compound 
was not boiling hot, exactly, but about the temperature 
for cooking eggs. Without noticing the surroundings, 
Elder Ammidon happened to place himself back to, 
right in front of the tub of hot soap. In a prayerful 
mood he reverently raised the Good Book high in the 
air, and bringing it down as he bowed his head, body, 
and soul in harmony with the motion, he addressed 
the evil one with the Scriptural exorcism," The Lord 
rebuke thee, Satan." The old ram interpreting the 
motion as a challenge for a fight, drew back, and plac- 
ing his head in position, made a desperate lunge, and 
hitting the parson with the back of his horns and head 
about midships, knocked him, together with book and 
candle, backwards into his wife's tub of soft soap. The 
immersion might have been serious were it not that 
the elder being very tall, the back of his head brought 
up against the farther side of the tub before his nos- 
trils were entirely submerged in the hot soap. As it 
was, the unfortunate parson managed to lift his head 

C 177 ] 


above water (or rather soap) , exclaiming in terrified ac- 
cents, as he was getting rid of what semi-liquid had en- 
tered his mouth, ' ' Help,0 Lord and Brother Northup, 
the wicked one has smote me into Tophet ! ' ' 

In his book, Mount reveals the method by which 
"any man of the least common sense may discover 
a thief, ' ' which I should like to see applied to some of 
our railroad, bank, and other corporation thieves. 26 He, 
too, indulges in several pages of poetry like the follow- 

"Thomas Mount it is my name, 
And to my shame cannot deny ; 
In New Jersey I was born, 

And on Little Rest now must die." 

" For robbing of a merchant, I was obliged to scout ; 
For robbing of another man I closely was pursued, 
And my faithful comrade Lipton was taken on the road ; 
From thence to Newport gaol, which is the truth of my 

To here lie dismal bound down in irons strong." 

Mount alleges in his memoirs that there was a c ' Flash 
company ' ' numbering some seventy or eighty individ- 
uals, extending from Nova Scotia to Georgia, estab- 
lished on the basis of a similar company in London. 
He gives the" Flash ' ' names of more than one hundred 
words and phrases, and ends the book with a number 
of "Flash Songs," "A Song Made by a Flash Cove 
the Evening before his Execution," and "Mount's 
Flash Song upon himself, "beginning: 

" Come ye prigs [thieves] and scamps full bold. 
I '11 sing you of a lad of fame, 
Who in New York town once did dwell, 
And Thomas Mount it is my name. 

c 178 n ' 


" As I was going out on a tramp, 
Void of any dread or fear, 
I was surrounded by the traps [officers of the law] , 
And to the quod [prison] they did me steer. 

"And when I came into the guard 
Capt. R — ds did me know; 
Tommy, come tip me the bit, he said," — 

Just at this tantalizing point the lower half of the last 
leaf in the book is torn in twain, and missing. With 
the exception of Thomas Mount, I do not remember 
of but one criminal being hanged from the Little Rest 
jail. That was Caesar, who was executed a little north- 
east of the depot of the Providence and Stonington rail- 
road at Slocum's Corner, on what used to be called in 
my early days ' ' Caesar's Plain. ' ' 27 John Hazard Wat- 
son tells me that a Mr. Brown who lived on the plain 
between Little Rest and Mumford's Mills had two 
negroes, named Caesar and Clytus, who owned a fight- 
ing cock. A white man by the name of Dealing who 
lived near by also owned a duck-winged game-cock 
that in a fair fight whipped the negroes' cock. Said 
they to Dealing, "Your duck-wing has whipped our 
cock and now we will whip you ! ' ' Caesar and Clytus 
then pounded Dealing until they broke his skull, after 
which they dragged and threw him into Chipuxet 
river, a mile or more west of Little Rest. He, however, 
managed to get out, and survived the beating about 
a year, and then died. Clytus ran away and got clear, 
but Caesar was apprehended, tried, and hanged on 
"Caesar's Plain." 

Wm. Carter was hanged for the murder of Jackson 
about the year 1742, on a little mound in the train- 

C 179 ] 


ing lot (so called) that lies between the highway and 
Pettaquamscutt river, at the foot of Rochester 28 (now 
Tower Hill). Captain Carter, of Newport, had been 
shipwrecked on the coast of North Carolina and was 
traveling home on foot, when he chanced to join Jack- 
son in Virginia on his way to Boston with a horse pack 
load of deerskins. They stopped one afternoon at the 
widow Nash's, Avho lived on the east side of the road 
south of a small brook about two miles south and west 
of Wakefield. Before leaving, Mrs. Nash combed 
Jackson's hair, and remarked that if he was ever mur- 
dered, she could identify him by a small round lock of 
dark hair in his head different in color from the other. 
In passing over Chimney Hill, the sam£ evening, Carter 
knocked Jackson from his horse with a stone, and, after 
killing him,*dragged the body half a mile and shoved 
it under the ice in Pettaquamscutt Cove, not far from 
Gooseberry Island, where it was fished up by a man jab- 
bing with a spear for eels. Carter was apprehended on 
the Point in Newport and brought to the jail at Roches- 
ter (or Tower Hill), at which then county seat he was 
tried, and on Mrs. Nash's and other testimony, con- 
victed and hanged in gibbets, where the body remained 
until it dropped piecemeal from the irons to the ground 
beneath, where I have heard say the soil and verdure 
were for years after made rank and dark with blood. 
With the exception of these three murders I do not 
at present recollect hearing of but one other ever oc- 

* Since these papers appeared in the Journal, my brother Joe has had 
a permanent stone monument placed on the spot where Jackson was 
killed, which until then was marked by a stone in the foundation of the 
wall, on which the figures 1742 were chiseled. 

C 180 ] 


curring in South Kingstown . That was the murder by 
a disappointed lover, who, in a fit of desperation, shot 
his sweetheart, a Miss Hull, through a window of her 
father's house, just after she was married to a rival, 
nearly two centuries ago. The house in which the deed 
was done stood on the south side of the road (since 
my remembrance) near the Friends' meeting-house in 
Matooneck, it being one of the six houses first built 
between Franklin (now South Ferry) and Pawcatuck 
Bridge in Westerly. 

[ 181 ] 

Fourteenth Baking 

I WANT my readers to put my last baking of Rhode 
Island jonny -cake into parenthesis, it being mainly 
an off-shoot from the matter in issue, and go back Math 
me to the early part of the twelfth baking, where I first 
mention the name of John Hagadorn, a member of the 
club of good fellows, at which point I will again take 
up the relation of Cat Story No. 2, which remarkable 
narration I feel in honor obligated and bound to finish 
before I explain the ' ' wonderful whys and wherefores 
that caused Phillis, my grandfather's inimitable colored 
cook, to be the cause of the French Revolution, and the 
death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. ' ' After John 
Hagadorn, there came to join the club at "Joe Run- 
nell's" on that memorable evening no less than five 
other individual members, whose names I will for the 
present forbear to give for the reason that each indi- 
vidual mention of them would recall to my memory 
such a host of past interesting incidents and anecdotes 
that it would take a whole Journal and supplement to 
boot to contain them in print. So after just saying in 
a short parenthesis that John Hazard Watson, besides 
loaning me ' ' The Voluntary Confession of Thomas 
Mount," handed me at the same time for perusal, an 
ancient sheepskin (with the wool mostly off) covered 
book of ninety-three pages, written by the prophetess 
Jemima Wilkinson, whilst she lived at Judge William 
Potter's big house, called the ' ' old Abbey, ' ' that stood 
since my remembrance on the east side of the road 
leading north from Little Rest Hill (now Kingston) and 
I 182 ] 


thence to Greenage and still farther in the same direc- 
tion to parts unknown, the last chapter of which book 
is entitled, "An Exhortation to the ''United Friends' 1 
everywhere scattered abroad," that being the name of 
the religious society or fraternity of spiritualists estab- 
lished by Jemima (whose surname was altered to that 
of ' ' The Universal Friend ' ' ) , said book being inscribed 
on the margin of the ninety-second page (which is next 
to the last page but one), with the name of "Thomas 
Champlain of South Kingstown, his book, son of 
Stephen Champlain," I will proceed (as before inti- 
mated) without further unnecessary delay, to finish up 
Cat Story No. 2. Shortly after the club assembled, old 
Comstock used to say he observed 'Lisha Garner wink 
at Cook, the hatter, both of whom soon after left their 
seats and went out into the kitchen, where they tarried 
for half an hour or so and then returned to their places, 
where they remained after all the other members of the 
club had gone home. Cook (who was unknown to old 
Comstock) then entered into a confab with Garner, rel- 
ative to the object of his visit to Little Rest, represent- 
ing himself as being commissioned by Billy Gray, the 
great East India merchant of Boston, to furnish him 
with one hundred cats, for which he was prepared to 
pay one dollar each, delivered at Little Rest, not less 
than one-half to be full-grown cats, and one-half half- 
grown kittens. Cook explained that Billy Gray wanted 
the cats to send to the King of the Nicobar Islands in the 
East Indies, the said islands having become so overrun 
and infested with rats, that on the occasion of Captain 
Liestrong (the master of the "Yankee Joker," one of 
Gray's Indiamen) happening to call thereon his voyage 

C 183 2 


from Canton to Boston by the way of London, and pre- 
senting the half of a forty pound Narragansett cheese 
(then the best in all the world) to the King, the Queen 
Sukarata (who was a lemon-colored lady of great beauty 
and exquisite taste in all edibles) was so delighted, not 
to say infatuated, with the all but divine flavor of the 
luxurious esculent, that for the preservation from the 
rats of the quarter part of the precious Narragansett 
cheese that remained after she and the King had fin- 
ished their supper, Sukarata wrapped it in a snake-skin 
napkin and placed it, on retiring for the night, in bed 
between herself and husband, taking especial care to 
close all the doors and windows to prevent the inroads 
of the voracious rats. These precautions, however, 
availed naught, for such was the ambrosial aroma of 
the incomparable Narragansett luxury, that it impreg- 
nated the whole atmosphere of the ' ' Great Nicobar ' ' 
(the chief and largest island of the group), to such an 
intoxicating degree that every rat within its circuit, be- 
sides a goodly number from smaller islands beyond, 
attracted and guided by the delicious fragrance of the 
Narragansett cheese, hastened with the greatest expe- 
dition possible to the King's palace, and in an incredible 
short time obtained entrance into the Queen's chamber, 
through sundry holes the elder rats gnawed with their 
strong, long, sharp teeth, and in their eagerness to 
secure the coveted prize that lay ensconced in the close 
embrace of the four arms of the King and Queen, 
actually obliged them to seek safety by their both 
jumping out of the two-story window of their palatial 

I will just here relate in parenthesis an anecdote to 
[ 184 ] 


illustrate the difference between the cheese made now- 
a-days of skim milk and annato and that which used 
to be made in the honest days of the olden times. Louis 
Latham Clarke (the fat Quaker friar before spoken 
of, who was said to be descended, by the mother's side, 
from Louis XV of France), while breakfasting at our 
house in Narragansett, was observed in the act of put- 
ting butter on his cheese. "Why," said I, "Cousin 
Louis, what is thee doing to thy cheese?" "Putting 
that back," said he," that some naughty woman took 
off." To Lodowick Staunton, of Charlestown, R. I., 
belongs the honor of the invention of the ingenious 
method of making cream cheese out of annato and skim 
milk. When he first carried the golden-looking article 
to the New York market (some seventy years ago), he 
told the ignorant Dutchmen of that small town that 
the reason why his cheese was so golden in color was 
because it was made from ' ' orange bag cows . ' ' Change 
the name to "Jersey cows," and a key may be found 
for the deep orange color of half or more of the cheese 
and butter now sold in the American market. The 
Irish and English people abroad have discovered the 
cheat and now refuse to buy yellow cheese. The Yan- 
kees are not so cute, and still purchase it because of 
its rich golden color. They judge it as they do most 
other edibles, by the eye rather than the palate. After 
awhile, probably, they will detect the fraud and refuse 
to buy it, just as the negroes did, formerly, old Cap- 
tain Fishback's (of New York) cheat in his cargo of 
salted herring. These, on his arrival at Kingstown, in 
Jamaica, he split in two and sold the separate halves 
to the negroes for whole ones. Capt. Fishback's ven- 
C 185 ] 


ture was so successful that he soon returned to Kings- 
town with another sloop load of herring, but found 
that he could not get a negro to buy one of them, they 
all declaring that they ' ' did not want any more of his 
one-eyed fish! " 

On Capt. Liestrong representing to the royal pair 
that there was an animal in America known as the 
'Tom-Cat," that would soon clear the island of rats, 
the King commissioned him to purchase and bring to 
him , on his next voyage to the Indies, one hundred of the 
invaluable creatures, promising to pay him down, on 
their delivery in Nicobar, ten thousand roues in gold, 
and twice that amount one year after, should the cats 
clear his dominion of the destructive rats as represented 
by the aforesaid captain. Now, old Comstock, as well 
as everybody else, knew that ' ' Billy Gray ' ' was one of 
the two most successful and wealthy merchants in 
all New England, Lord Timothy Dexter, who laid the 
foundation of his fortune by sending a schooner load 
of warming-pans to the tropics, when, on their arrival 
at Cuba, they were all bought up by the sugar plant- 
ers, the covers for skimmers and the pans for dippers, 
at four times their invoice price, being the other. Billy 
Gray's unparalleled success in business was owing to 
his prudence, sagacity, industry, integrity, and econ- 
omy. It was said that whilst ' ' Billy Gray ' ' did half the 
foreign mercantile business of Boston, he still found 
time to do his household marketing, connected with 
which the following instructive anecdote used to be.told : 
A spruce young man had recently been hired in one of 
"Billy Gray's" many departments of business, who, 
up to the time now specified, had never seen the great 
C 186 ] 


merchant, whom he supposed, from his reputed wealth, 
must be a nabob clothed in the finest and most expen- 
sive garments, glittering all over with gold and precious 
stones, and walking with a gait as proud and stately as 
a peacock. This young man stopped early one morning 
at the old Boylston street market, where he purchased 
a turkey, and then looked about to find some negur to 
carry it home for him, which was situated on his way 
to his place of business, where he was then going. A 
plainly dressed man stepped up and asked the ' ' swell ' ' 
what he would give him to carry his turkey home? 
"Ninepence," said the spruce-looking cockney. The 
proposition was accepted, and the two walked down 
towards State street side by side, the elder carrying the 
turkey by its legs in one hand. When the young man's 
domicile in Washington street was reached, the turkey 
was duly delivered and the ninepence paid as agreed, 
whereupon the elder of the two returned thanks to the 
young man, attended with the request that whenever 
he wanted to pay for carrying a turkey a few blocks on 
the way he himself was going, to just call on old Billy 
Gray, and he would be glad of a job by which he could 
earn ninepence so easily! This may have conveyed 
a lesson to the young man that he never forgot, but 
whether it did or not, I know its bare recital made me re- 
solve never to be ashamed or deterred by the ridicule of 
sap-headed upstarts, unthinking fools, or contemptible 
snobs from performing a useful or necessary ' 'job. ' ' In 
fact, I, soon after hearing the story of old Billy Gray's 
carrying the turkey in Boston, encountered an occasion 
that called in a most eminent degree for exemplifying 
in my conduct the moral it inculcated. It was after this 

[ 187 ] 


wise : I took a freak or fancy (I am not sure which) 
to lead a white goat from one of my farms on Tower 
Hill to my Rocky Brook factory. I rode at the time a 
gray mare. The goat, tied by the horns, led very com- 
placently until we got within some forty rods of the 
Peace Dale woolen factory, where he absolutely refused 
to go farther. What now was I to do ! My maxim 
through life had been never to set out to do a wrong 
thing, but when a job was undertaken, never to give it 
up until accomplished. I had no cart or wagon within 
reach, neither would my gray mare go in harness even 
if I had, but I had learned by several experiments before 
practiced, that all horses without exception, broke or 
unbroke, will draw kindly by the tail. But then what a 
ridiculous figure I would cut going through Peace Dale 
mounted on my gray mare, dragging a big horned 
Juan Fernandez goat, by her tail ! For a moment or 
two the thought unmanned me, until I recalled the 
story of old Billy Gray and the turkey, on which I 
was at once reassured, and dismounting I tied the ob- 
stinate goat by its rope tether to the end of my gray 
mare's long tail. The victory was won. After one or 
two sittings back with his fore legs abrace, and three 
or four times as many caracoles in the air, to say 
nothing of as many tumble-downs, the subdued animal 
followed quietly in my wake. As I expected, when we 
three reached Peace Dale, all the boys and gals in the 
factory rushed to the windows and laughed ready to 
kill, at me, my gray mare, and the goat at her tail ; 
but most of all at me on her back. I persevered, how- 
ever, and accomplished what I set out to do. Sally 
Wilcox, a factory gal, made some varses about it that 
I 188 ] 


were greatly admired. When set to music by old Pedro 
Sherman, the colored crippled wool-waste picker, and 
sung with the accompaniment of his fiddle, the effect 
produced on a South Kingstown audience was mar- 
velously grand, sometimes making tears to flow from 
the eyes and noses of all present. I do not remember 
the whole of the sublime ditty, nor do I know that it 
was ever printed. I rather think not, as "Pistol-head 
Tom Hazard" (so called to distinguish him from 
"Shepherd Tom," and some thirty-five other "Tom 
Hazards" of the same name) used to say that he 
"never saw Sal's varses in the Newport Marcury'''' 
(the only newspaper then ever seen in Narragansett, 
or hardly anywhere else in America), although his 
father, "Nailer Tom," had taken the Marcury for 
thirty years, during the whole of which time, he ' \ Pis- 
tol Tom , ' ' had never failed looking in the right-hand 
corner of the paper for the little "blackguard varses," 
which he said he always got by heart, though he never 
to his recollection, ever read a line of anything else 
that was printed in the paper. 

I cannot now recall all the words of Sal's sublime 
ditty, but I remember the first stanza ran thus — 

"Once upon a time 
The sun it did shine, 
And the day was fine, 
When ' Shepherd Tom ' 
Come riding from 

His Tower Hill farmy 'O ; 
With a big white goat, 
With a shaggy coat, 
Tied with a rope 

To his gray mare's taily 'O." 

I 189 1 


As an offset to Sal's satirical song, and to get even with 
her, so far as a man can ever get even with a female 
opponent, for making me the laughing-stock of all the 
' ' gals" in South Kingstown, I will just here remark in 
another parenthesis, without malice prepense, that Sal 
Wilcox had just graduated into the Peace Dale factory 
from a twelve by fifteen one-story log cabin in Hard- 
scrabble, which is a territory bounded on the north and 
west by the great pond and great swamp, and south 
and east by "Old Brittain," where she had been 
accustomed to sleep all her life in a cock-loft, which 
was reached by a ladder that she used to climb down 
on backward, which had got her into such a confirmed 
habit that for six months after her coming to Peace 
Dale, whenever she was about to descend the factory 
stairs, she always turned herself clear round, and went 
down backward as she had always done when going 
down the ladder from her chamber in the cock-loft. 
Well was it that this practice had not been taught 
Sal in her early youth by her minister, Elder Wash- 
burne, of the "New Light Church," as a religious 
ordinance, otherwise she would no doubt have con- 
scientiously clung to its observance, not only during 
this life, but probably in the better half of eternity in 
the next, — on the like principle, that the more un- 
seemly you bend and twist the tree, when young and 
pliable, the more impossible it is to straighten it when 
it grows to maturity — which principle in the natural 
growth, whether of the vine or the tree — of the human 
mind or the body — furnishes the key to explain the 
tenacity with which the different races of men adhere 

C 190 3 


to priest and man-made religious creeds and practices 
they have been taught in childhood. 

Since Sal went to work in the factory, such has been 
the humanizing, uplifting, and refining effects of the 
manufacturing business in South Kingstown and else- 
where, and "common schools " established mainly in 
consequence thereof, 29 that Sal Wilcox has become the 
mother of a daughter who is married to a New York 
millionaire, with whom she (Sal) now resides, who does 
her shopping in a two-horse carriage attended by a 
liveried coachman and footman. Sal Wilcox also has 
a son 30 by her second husband (from the Green Isle), 
who is one of the leading men of New York in wealth, 
morals, religion, fashion, and politics, whose millions 
have been amassed whilst patriotically serving his 
father's adopted country, who too sports his four- 
horse team, in a coach bearing the ancient coat-of- 
arms of the family, viz. : A lion rampant (with a great 
swamp red fox's tail attached to its rump and adroitly 
hidden by the artistbetween the lion's hind legs), stand- 
ing erect on a cock-loft ladder with jaws extended 
at right angles, snarling and showing his long strong 
teeth, head thrown slightly off its centre in a back- 
ward direction, with paw reaching upward towards 
the crest on the helmet argent, the conceit or device of 
which is a bag of gold labeled " N. Y. city treasury." 
The top of the ladder rests on the bag of gold, whilst 
the lion stands within the helmet or shield, beneath 
which the motto is inscribed, in heavily gilded sxvina 
latina letters, "As we descendo, so we ascendoy 

In fine, I will close what I have to say about my old 


defamer, Sally Wilcox, by remarking that I do not 
remember exactly when I heard it whispered that she 
is in fact the identical proverbial "mother-in-law " of 
the Journal and newspaper reporters and dime novel- 
ists of the 19th century. 

I may here also say, in another short parenthesis, 
that I learn that formerly horses in Spain were always 
rigged out to draw by the tail, which is found to be 
the most natural way, requiring but little harness and 
no expense for breaking. I think if the practice was 
introduced on canals, it would be of incalculable service 
in preventing chafing of the breasts of horses, so hurt- 
ful where the draft is uniform and unrelaxing, besides 
saving great expense for harnesses. I have several times 
thought of suggesting the plan to Henry Bergh, the 
president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals, who is confidently believed to be doing 
a greater humanitarian work than any other man on 
earth, and should probably have done so before this, 
were it not that we were somewhat of cronies in earlier 
life, and both of us head over ears in love with the same 
girl, the prettiest creature a thousand times told in the 
whole world. At any rate I know I was in love with 
her, which may have led me to suspect Bergh of being 
my rival without adequate cause. Whether he was or 
not, the knowledge he then acquired of my waggish 
disposition might dispose him to think I merely meant 
to pass a joke upon him, which is not a fact, but most 
decidedly to the contrary, beingstrongly impressed with 
the idea that the big, strong stump of the tail of the 
horse is designed by nature for the animal to exert its 
strength to the greatest advantage in drawing heavy 
[ 192 ] 


drafts, especially such as like the canal-boat have no 
giving up, as it were, and therefore tend to heat and 
chafe the chest of the tow-horses. Then again, what 
upon earth was the great quantity of hair attached to 
the whole length and breadth of the horse's tail, if it 
were not to hitch a rope to? A small quantity on the 
extreme end would have sufficed just as well to switch 
off flies ! I observed in passing from Rome to Naples, 
before a railroad was made over the Pontine marshes, 
which are a dead level, the traces used were some 
ten to fifteen feet in length, which arrangement it was 
held obviated in some measure the heat and chafing 
caused by a constant never-giving pressure on the chest 
of the draft-horses. 

As I perceive I have not room to get through with 
Cat Story No. 2 in this number, I will say a few words 
on the subject of goats, of which animals I bought fif- 
teen or twenty, some fifty or more years ago, of Wil- 
liam Tucker, for the purpose of subduing about 400 
acres of brush on my farms. William succeeded in 
delivering the animals on my farm, but no fences or 
walls, I am confident, could be built that would keep 
a regular built Juan Fernandez goat, with horns as long 
as a man's arm, and beards the length of a horse's tail, 
anywhere within bounds. So agile were the creatures 
that one of my goats had been seen fighting a dog on 
the ground from the tip-top of a six-foot inch board 
fence, and whipping his opponent at that. Before going 
to work to kill the briars and bushes, as I was led to 
suppose would be the case, my goats first destroyed 
most of the apple orchards in the neighborhood, and 
then peeled all the white-oak saplings for a mile around. 

C 193 3 


The neighbors were too good to shoot them, and as to 
pounding the varmints, old Wilson Pollock used to say 
the Devil and all his angels could not do it. The flock 
increased to over sixty. Occasionally I yarded them to 
catch a kid to dress. This was always done of a Sun- 
day, when the boys were all at liberty. It was enough 
that I gave out word the night before, when every boy 
within two miles would be on the spot next morning. 
It generally took some six or eight hours to get the 
creatures under a shed. The goat is very different in its 
habits from the sheep, being as the Good Book insinu- 
ates, simply devilish in some of its propensities ; for in- 
stance: Some five and twenty or more boys would sur- 
round the flock and gradually drive them up to the shed . 
Now sheep under such circumstances, if they broke 
away at all, would follow one leader and run one way. 
Not so with my goats. Just as they seemed about to 
enter the shed, the whole flock would generally pause, 
take positions, and face about. There were some ten or 
twelve great he-goats, each one of whom would single 
out a boy (a small one when convenient) in the semi- 
circle, and when all were ready, the big he-goats would 
one and all make a simultaneous charge in every direc- 
tion, and the next thing that would be distinctly seen of 
the flock it would be half a mile away, each he-goat 
tumbling heels over head in its course a boy more or 
less, big or small. To return. 

As before said, old Comstock was well aware of 
Billy Gray's wealth and consequent ability to fulfil any 
contracts entered into by his agents. But, apart from 
this, he witnessed the passing of one hundred dollars, 
all in five-dollar bills, from the hand of Cook into that 
[ 194 ] 


of Garner, who he then and there commissioned to 
purchase the cats. This was in June, and the animals 
were to be delivered on ' ' Little Rest ' ' on the first of 
August or any time previous thereto. Comstock was 
not slow in perceiving that there was a lively chance 
for his turning an honest penny, and after a few pre- 
liminaries he contracted with Garner to purchase and 
deliver the cats at " Joe RunnelPs," as specified, he 
(Comstock) to receive on their delivery the round sum of 
one hundred dollars, less ten per cent., which Garner 
was to keep for his own commissions. Now it so hap- 
pened that old Comstock had a quantity of salt pig 
pork which he deemed might be turned advantageously 
into cash by exchanging it for cats. So a few days 
afterwards he wended his way with a horse-cart load 
of pig pork to a district in the south-western part 
of South Kingstown, called New Guinea, which was 
mostly peopled with negroes, who at that time were 
very numerous in the town. Here he soon commenced 
a pretty extensive dickering trade. Cats being uncom- 
monly plenty in New Guinea, it required but a few 
days to complete his complement, he paying for them 
at the rate of four pounds of pig pork for a full-grown 
cat and two pounds for a half-grown kitten. After com- 
pleting the full number of one hundred, old Comstock 
notified Garner that he should deliver the animals on 
Little Rest, agreeably to contract, on the next Wednes- 
day. Garner tried to get the contractors to defer their 
delivery until he could arrange (as he said) farther with 
Cook, for sending the cats to Boston. But Comstock 
plead that he had contracted for and paid in advance 
for the commodities, and that delays might be danger- 

C *95 ] 


ous, so that he preferred delivering the animals on the 
day named — which Garner finally assented to, though 
lothly . Accordingly, on the next Wednesday , Comstock 
having, on the day previous, collected the cats and put 
them in bags — ten old cats, or twenty half-grown 
kittens in each separate bag, making, with one nul- 
lage bag containing ten kittens, eight bags full in all, 
he placed them in his horse-cart and started with the 
load for Little Rest. As I find I cannot possibly finish 
Cat Story No. 2 in this baking, I must perforce per- 
mit Comstock's cats and kittens to remain bagged 
until my next, when, should nothing prevent, I hope 
to conclude the said story, and hasten on to show 
how Phillis,my grandfather's most extraordinary col- 
ored cook, came to be the remote cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Marie Antoinette and 
Louis XVI. 

[ 196 H 

Fifteenth Baking 

MAN proposes but God disposes," is a trite but 
ower-true saying, as I have abundant reason 
to know, for no sooner had I, in my all but frantic 
endeavors to bring Cat Story No. 2 to a close, that I 
might tell my impatient readers how it happened that 
Phillis, my grandfather's universally admired colored 
cook, came to be the "remote cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 
Antoinette," and had just got old Comstock fairly on 
his way to Little Rest, in his horse-cart with all his 
full-grown cats, one hundred in all (the full comple- 
ment) stowed away in eight tow-cloth meal bags to 
deliver according to contract, at "Joe Runnell's " tav- 
ern, to 'Lisha Garner and receive the cash of said 
Garner in full therefor, — than the Post-boy handed 
me a letter from no less a personage than the Honora- 


ble Ex-Governor Henry Howard, notifying me that he 
had sent me a life-size picture of Phillis, my grand- 
father's superlative cook, as she used to appear in her 
old-fashioned comfortable kitchen, baking jonny-cake. 
The beautiful picture has also come to hand through 
the agency of a very polite young gentleman attache 
of the Journal office, whose services in his department 
are invaluable, and I hope and trust they are suitably 
rewarded by his principals, "Messrs. Knowles, i\n- 
thony and Danielson." The picture with its surround- 
ings is 29 inches by 16 in dimension, and the artists 
(Forbes & Co., Boston) have executed it in such 
splendid bright and durable colors, that I am not sure 
whether it is a Chromo, a Lithograph, or a genuine 
Oil or Water painting, or something else of the numer- 
ous kinds. Over the top of the picture the two words 
" Phillis, Ambrosia " appear in large capital letters, 
whilst beneath is printed in still bigger, double lined 
and ornamented capitals, "Arkwright Jonnycake 
Meal, ground by granite stones." On the left side of 
the picture is printed in large italics, the following ex- 
tracts from Shepherd Tom's "Rhode Island Jonny- 
cake, first baking : " "The Southern epicures crack a 
good deal about hoe-cake and hominy, made from their 
white flint corn, the Pennsylvanians of their mush, the 
Boston folks of their brown bread, but none of these re- 
puted luxuries are worthy of holding a candle to an 
old-fashioned Narragansett jonny-cake." Here inter- 
venes a blank space of an inch and seven-eighths pre- 
cisely by the rule, and then follows another extract : 
My grandfather used to have in his kitchen a col- 
ored cook by the name of Phillis, who probably made 
[ 198 2 


as good a Jonny-cake in her day as any other artist 
known, whether white or black." 

On the right hand side of the priceless picture ap- 
pears the following two extracts taken from the same 
inimitable and veracious baking of "Rhode Island 
Jonny-cake," as the former: 

"The idea that a burr stone can grind meal even 
out of the best of Rhode Island white corn, that an old- 
fashioned Narragansett pig would not have turned up 
his nose at is perfectly preposterous." 

Here follows another blank space precisely two inches 
and one eighth in length, and then comes — 

' ' There are no other mill-stones on earth that will 
grind corn meal fit for a genuine Jonny-cake, except 
those made from the Narragansett granite rock." 

In his letter, Gov. Howard says: "It was our in- 
tention," (kings and governors never speak in the 
singular number,) "to send you one of the pictures 
mounted. We will do so now, but you may also keep 
the one you have." After returning thanks for the 
valuable present, I may just here remark that Gov. 
Howard's letter was dated shortly after our Postmas- 
ter-General issued his late famous circular to all his 
subalterns in the United States, which I presume may 
account for my not having received the mounted pic- 
ture up to this date. Should the Governor send me a 
duplicate, I would recommend him to address it to me 
after a mode invented by Shepherd Tom, in his 13th 
year, whilst he was at Westtown Friends Boarding 
School, in West Chester county, Pennsylvania, where 
all the boys in No. 10 grammar school (John Bullock, 
teacher) were once required, each and every one, to 

C *99 ] 


write a competitive composition. Out of some fifty, 
Shepherd Tom's was awarded the praise of being the 
very best. Its title was "A dissertation on the proper 
method of directing letters so that they will be almost 
sure to reach their destination from all parts of (and 
beyond) our planetary system, consisting of seven 
planets " (which have been since increased, let me say, 
by astronomers to nearly twice that number, with a 
fair prospect of more being unfolded). If Gov. Howard 
will address my picture as therein prescribed, which 
is as follows, and after paying the postage in full, 
deposit it with Mr. Bray ton, P.M., Providence, R. I., 
I know he is a man who has sufficient gumption to 
ferret out the place of my residence, and that he will, 
politely forward the mounted picture to me in one of 
Uncle Sam's locked mail bags. The said superscription 
by the form I had the honor to invent long before Post- 
master-General Mr. Key was born, should run thus: 



Vaucluse School District No. 1, South Portsmouth, 

Town (or Township) of Portsmouth, 

Island of Rhode Island, 

Newport County, 

State of Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, 

New England, 

Eastern States, 

United States of America, 

North America, 

Northern Temperate Zone, 

Western Hemisphere, 

The World," 

C 200 ] 


which is one of the planets that the sun (which was 
created three days after the earth) used to revolve 
around, but which order the astronomers have, since 
Newton's discoveries of the laws of gravitation, modi- 
fied and made it to revolve on its own axis once in 
twenty-four hours, and around the sun once in three 
hundred and sixty-five days six hours (and a little 
better), said planetary system constituting an infini- 
tesimal part of one of the myriads of universes, that 
move eternally in infinitude in their orbits in accord- 
ance with the exact laws affixed by God, with which, 
as with their Creator, ' ' from everlasting to everlast- 
ing," there is "no variableness nor shadow of turn- 
ing" except on its own axis, as before intimated. 

Again says Gov. Howard: " Your published letters 
confirm our own experience, to wit: that for jonny- 
cake the meal must be made from granite stones and 
ground somewhat slowly. ," True to the letter, only 
' ' somewhat ' ' should read ' ' very. ' ' I have somewhere 
else stated how Old Benny Rodman, of Rodman's Mill 
(now Peace Dale), sometimes used to turn a bushel 
of nice Rhode Island white corn into his mill hopper, 
and while it was grinding walk two miles to the Wid- 
der Brown's, on Tower Hill, and after doing an hour's 
courting and taking tea with her, walk back to the mill 
in season to turn up another grist before the former had 
all left the shoe. Again says Gov. Howard, ' ' The Ark- 
wright meal has been thus made from the time whereof 
the mind of man runneth not to the contrary, with 
the exception of a short time when we tried burr-stones 
to save time, and to the great detriment of the meal." 
Yes, I understand ! " to save time ! ' ' that 's what 's the 

C 2Q1 H 


matter in this fast age, wherein everything good is 
spoiled ' ' to save time ! " If Governor Howard had said 
to the "utter destruction of the meal," instead of the 
' 'detriment, " he would have said just right ! The Gov- 
ernor's letter continues: "The granite for the stones 
comes from some point to the south of us, but I am not 
certain of its precise location." From some "point to 
the south of us ! " does it? and where on airth, let me 
ask His Excellency, should the granite mill-stones come 
from fit to grind jonny-cake meal, but from "a point 
south" of him, viz.: from "Shermantown," in the 
South County, situated in the northern part of Ancient 
Atlantis, where that peculiarly fine and sharp-grained 
rock was brought and deposited many centuries ago by 
the heathen gods for their own delectable use — whilst 
on their annual summer visit they were reveling on am- 
brosia and the other good things, then as now, nowhere 
else to be found, as says the envious editor of the Bos- 
ton Post, ' ' but in the south part of Rhode Island , ' ' amid 
the bland and fragrant breezes that ever blow from the 
Gulf Stream, and where the invaluable granite rock was 
discovered by Old Jimmy Sherman just after the settle- 
ment of Kings county, whose descendants, who are still 
located on the spot between North and South Kings- 
town, alone retain the art of making and pecking the 
only mill-stones fit to grind ambrosia up to this present 
day, let Grinnager say what he may to the contrary, 
whether about his "old forge mill," or otherwise. 
Gov. Howard concludes his very nice epistle with the 
remark, "You see I adopt your nomenclature." And 
why not, let me ask? I would just as soon put the letter 
"H" before a Rhode Island Chausen greening, that 

C 2 ° 2 3 


most delicious viand, that through our darling old 
Mother Eve's simply sticking her teeth into one side 
of the tempting fruit damned us all eternally to Hell 
(or nearly all), and call it the finest Happle in the world, 
as the London cockneys do, as to place Johnny Bull's 
Christian name before a genuine Rhode Island Jonny- 
cake, and thereby immortalize the name of America's 
former perfidious foe, instead of the honored name of 
Jonathan Trumbull, the sterling American patriot, 
whose Bible name was conferred on the surpassing 
luxury by the women of Narragansett, shortly after 
they and their sister patriots, in New London county 
(where Brother Jonathan lived) had, through his and 
Jonathan J. Hazard's suggestions, come to the rescue 
of their country in its darkest hour, and saved the all 
but lost cause by knitting some thousand pairs of stock- 
ings out of the soft, silky wool of Ancient Atlantis, for 
the bare and bleeding feet of our soldiers at Valley 
Forge. I see that Tom R. Hazard, whom I stick closer 
to than a brother, and who knows more about the other 
world than any Hazard I know of (and what the Haz- 
ards don't know ain't worth knowing), says in the 
Journal, "the angels are coming to stay." If this is 
to be so, I see no reason why Phillis, my grandfather's 
most accomplished and righteous colored cook, may 
not come with the rest, for I see that he also says in 
the same communication that in ' ' heaven there is no 
distinction made on account of race, color or creed," 
but that there every one's lot is determined not by their 
faith but by their refinement of spirit and good deeds. 
Now I have heard Tom R. Hazard say that of all the 
thousands of newspaper columns and pages that have 

C 203 ] 


been printed over his signature with an R. in the mid- 
dle of it, he will defy the world to name an instance 
wherein he has stated a word that was not strictly true 
according to his best knowledge and belief, and that 
not one of his bitter controversialists have ever shown 
to the contrary. If this is so (and I have no reason to 
doubt what Tom R. says, over his signature with an 
R. in it), I think that Phillis will be pretty likely to 
come back with the rest of the angels, and so I would 
advise Governor Howard to keep a close watch on her 
coming, and secure her services at whatever cost early 
after her arrival. Then I would advise him to pur- 
chase Stewart's great marble wholesale store, corner of 
Broadway and Chambers street, in New York (now on 
sale, as I understand), fit it up in the old-fashioned style 
for an Ambrosia Jonny-Cake Restaurant solely, and 
give Phillis the exclusive charge of the baking depart- 
ment. This done, I feel sure that such will soon be 
the rush of patrons to partake of the good things that 
Phillis will make out of Rhode Island ambrosia, that 
it will take half the granite stone mills and all the 
white corn raised in Washington and Newport coun- 
ties to supply the demand for Rhode Island white corn 
meal. Thus the Governor may quickly amass a big- 
ger fortune than Stewart died possessed of — in fact, a 
fortune big enough to exalt his soul to one of the high- 
est seats in Heaven or sink it into one of the lowest 
pits of Hell, just as His Excellency makes use of his 
money, whether to gratify his own selfish propensities 
and pride of flesh, or expend it for the good of all man- 
kind (and all other kinds of living creatures), without 
distinction of race, color, or creed, in accordance with 
[ 204 ] 


the ability, light, and judgment God has bestowed upon 

Whilst I lived at my grandfather's in Narragan- 
sett, I was too young to remember exactly how Phillis 
looked, neither can I recall to mind precisely how her 
kitchen appeared in all respects ; but in examining 
closely Gov. Howard's fine picture, I thought I could 
perceive that it was not exactly after the old-fashioned 
pattern it was intended to represent. I am, however, 
loth to criticise so fine a work of art, especially as Gov. 
Howard bestowed upon me in his letter some very 
complimentary expressions, which my well-known 
modesty, amounting in fact to shamefacedness and 
bashfulness on some occasions, will not permit me to 
rehearse here. So I thought I would, if possible, per- 
suade Phillis herself to come back and give her opin- 
ion of the picture. With this object in view, I called 
the other day upon my friend, Tom R. Hazard, and 
asked him to instruct me in the whys and wherefores 
through which my grandfather's transcendent cook 
could be brought back to earth. To my great surprise 
Tom R. gave me a flat refusal, and told me that in 
seeking communion with the dead, everybody is sure to 
get just such responses as are fitted to their own con- 
ditions and aspirations, and that while those who are 
actuated solely by the love of truth and a heartfelt de- 
sire to accomplish good and benefit their fellow-crea- 
tures, will be responded to by truthful spirits, those 
who are dwelling on a false and selfish plane, and are 
addicted to deceit and lying, will, on the contrary, be 
sure to come en rapport or communication with just 
such dishonest and lying spirits as are in sympathy 

C 205 ] 


with themselves. On my asking Tom R. in which 
class of seekers or investigators he meant to include 
me, he told me straight out to my utter astonishment 
that it was "with the last named! " Said I, "Do you 
mean, Tom R., to say that I have been guilty of out- 
right lying? ' ' Said he in reply, ' ' If you have not been 
guilty of outright lying, you have said things in them 
Rhode Island jonny-cake Tom-fooleries, that come 
so near to it that a New York beer-pot politician, or 
a Philadelphia whiskey-swilling shyster lawyer can't 
point out the difference." I thereupon asked Tom R. 
to name an instance wherein I had seriously told an 
untruth in all these veracious papers. "As for the mat- 
ter of your seriousness, ' ' said TomR. , ' ' the Arch Fiend 
himself can't, for the life of him, tell when you mean to 
be serious and when you don't — but I can name scores 
of instances where you have lied, but whether seriously 
or in joke, I can't tell! " "Name one instance, "said I, 

and I will give in. " " Well, ' ' said TomR. , ' ' there 's 
what you say about nigger Sam, who, in dancing in 
Phillis' kitchen, kicked a hole in the plastering with 
the heel of his left foot, whilst at the same moment 
he broke another hole with the toes of the other foot 
sixteen feet apart from the first! " "Well," said I, 

what of all that ! " as the Honorable Asher Robbins 
once said (as he was sitting on a bench under the 
Little Rest Court-house) to a wrathy client who for 
full fifteen minutes and over had been heaping upon 
the wily old counselor all the slang and abusive terms 
in the English language, such as rascal, villain, rogue, 
scoundrel, liar, with a hundred other vilifying terms 
of like disparaging significance, until he was actually 


obliged to pause for want of breath. Up to that time 
Mr. Robbins had sat perfectly quiet, looking straight 
forward, with the exception of once taking his rappee 
snuff-box from his pocket and taking a pinch. The 
well-abused Newport lawyer (one of the shrewdest and 
most learned in New England) now slowly lifted his 
head and regarding his recently defeated client with 
an innocent inquiring look, remarked: "Well, sir, 
what of all that? Didn't I explain, let me ask you, 
as I went along in my faithful narrative, that black 
Sam was uncommon tall, and nearly all legs at that?" 
"Good heavens," exclaimed Tom R., ''''uncommon 
tall indeed! Patrick O'Brien, 'the Irish giant,' who 
was just the tallest man that was ever known in Europe 
or America, was but eight feet high from the crown 
of his head to the soles of his feet, so if you split him 
clean up to his neck," said Tom, "both his legs (al- 
lowing only one foot for head and neck), would meas- 
ure but fourteen feet! " "Just so," said I, "but then 
you must know that Sam's foot was a yard long from 
heel to toe, so that allowing that his two legs could 
straddle no more than fourteen feet, and he might, 
very well, make the holes in the plastering of Phillis' 
kitchen sixteen feet apart even admitting, as you would 
make folks believe, that Sam's ankle was in the mid- 
dle of his foot, as what he lacked reaching forward to 
with the toes of the one foot, he would naturally make 
up by reaching farther backward with the long heel of 
the other." This rather stumped Tom R., who, mut- 
tering something I did not exactly understand about 
Squire Potter blowing a Providence county lawyer 
out of the court-house window, turned and went away. 


My dander being up near to the boiling point, thinks 
I to myself, I won't give it up until I try my own hand 
at raising the spirits, for I know that Phillis and I were 
always loving friends when she lived at my grand- 
father's in Narragansett, and I know no reason why 
she should not love me now that she lives in Heaven. 
I may just here remark without farther ado that Tom 
R. Hazard's treatment of me brought to my mind what 
transpired in my presence when I was a boy, between 
old black Ned Watson, the black preacher of Tower 
Hill, and Cuff Tory (Ned having married Cuff's sis- 
ter) . It was a very cold day, and Ned had been down 
to the sedge beds, just where the cove joins Narrow 
(Pettaquamscutt) river, and dug a bushel or more 
clams. I, boy like, had gone down with Ned just to 
see what luck he 'd have. We both started to go up to 
the village that stood on top of Tower Hill (where the 
court-house and jail used to be), and were a few min- 
utes after joined by Cuff Tory, who was on his way 
home from Governor George Brown's, who lived on 
Boston Neck, where Cuff had been at work. Before we 
all three had got half-way up the hill, the salt water 
had run out of the clams down Ned's back and froze 
on so that an icicle formed behind him on the seat of 
his breeches, and hung down full a foot long, looking 
for all the world like a monkey's tail. Ned now asked 
Cuff to give him a spell and take the clams for a while 
on his back! To this proposition Cuff demurred, where- 
upon Ned reproached Cuff and appealed to me. to say 
whether I thought Cuff Tory in refusing to help carry 
his clams, treated kim like a brother-in-law that had 
married his own sister! Now Tom R. Hazard is nearer 

C 208 ] 


to me than a brother-in-law, and I appeal to my reader 
to say whether he has not, in his refusal to assist me 
in raising Phillis, treated me even more shabbily than 
Cuff Tory treated his brother-in-law, Ned Watson, 
in the matter of carrying the bag of wet clams? But 
be that as it may, I fully resolved to try my luck in 
raising Phillis with what little knowledge I possessed 
of the power of angel communion, and on the next 
Sunday evening, weather permitting, I determined to 
make the trial, hit or miss. I will just say, by way of 
preliminary, that my house, where I live, was built by 
Samuel Elam, an old English gentleman (who knew 
what was what, about comfort, as well as most folks), 
full one hundred years ago, and that all the fireplaces 
(nine in number) are large and deep enough to take 
a back-log two and a half feet by three and a half fore- 
stick, the fireplace in the library, where I generally sit 
whilst writing about jonny-cakes, said fireplace being 
constructed (alike with the side pillars and mantel) 
of marble with soapstone sides and back, measuring 
in front four feet in length. So when Sunday came, the 
day being pleasant and the atmosphere clear, with the 
wind north-west, and the air of course fully charged 
with electric elements (all very essential conditions 
among others, as I have heard Tom R. say, in getting 
communication from the spirit world), I had a two- 
foot green upland white-oak log put clean back into 
my library fireplace. On top of this white-oak log I 
laid a one-foot six-inch yaller (not yellow) bark oak 
back stick on top of that. Next I laid on my heavy 
topped brass hand (not and) irons, which are two and 
one-half feet long and two feet high, and one foot 

C 209 ] 


through : bewitching smelling Rhode Island white- 
wannut fores tick, [the reader must pardon me for in- 
serting after a comma, in a parenthesis, an anecdote re- 
called to my memory by the mention of wannut wood, 
in connection with the Hon. Joseph M. Blake, a man 
of the finest genius and most classical mind, and about 
the most eloquent (among the host of eloquent) plead- 
ers 31 that ever bewildered and dumbfounded a Rhode 
Island jury. I was sitting with "Silver-tongued Joe 
Blake" in his office in College street, Providence, one 
rather warm evening in November, where he had a 
white-wannut wood fire roaring up the chimney, big 
enough to warm all out-doors. In fact, such was its 
fervor that both of us had to sit as near an open door 
as possible to keep from roasting. Said I, Mr. Blake, 
how much do you pay a cord for your wannut wood ? 
Twelve dollars! he replied. Said I, What upon earth 
do you keep such a pile on your fire for on such a 
warm evening as this? They tell me, said he, that the 
ashes of wannut wood is good manure, and I want to 
get some to put on my garden down in Bristol! And 
how many ashes do you get, said I, from a cord of 
wood? About half a barrel, said he! And how much 
does it cost to transport the ashes to Bristol ? inquired 
I. Not more, replied the Baconian scholar, than one 
dollar and seventy-five cents a barrel for freight — 
cartage at both ends and cost of barrel included — and 
the ashes, continued he, are worth half as much again 
as that for manure — if all I hear be true! ] — one foot 
through at the smallest end. Next on top of the 
wannut forestick I put a green sugar maple stick ten 
inches in diameter (measured in the middle), between 

C 21 ° 3 


which and the forestick I placed (so as to give air) a 
couple of wannut wood toggrels, four inches in length 
and one inch in diameter (one of the toggrels near each 
end) . On top of the toggrels that lay on the sugar ma- 
ple sticks I next placed a limb eight inches through, 
that was sawed that morning from a Rhode Island 
Chausen greening apple tree, the second only in descent 
and pedigree from the original stock that was imported 
by Mr. Bowler, the great Newport merchant, direct 
from the site of the garden of Eden, in Assyria. As I 
have before notified readers in a previous paper, the 
graft for said tree, which is still standing at Vaucluse, 
the former residence of Mr. Elam, which heaven on 
earth was so named by him in consequence of a dis- 
appointment in a love affair, the details of which may 
be found on page 89, "Recollections of the Olden 
Times, by Ibid;" and again on top of the toggrels 
that lay on the choice greening apple tree stick, I laid 
a sweet-scented birch stick, the bark of which was as 
smooth and shiny as the face of a looking-glass, and 
so alternately with wannut, maple, apple, and birch, 
decreasing gradually in size as the pile ascended, until 
the top of the second back stick was reached, when a 
stick of Narragansett sassifax, vulgarly called sassa- 
fras, called in the olden time the ' ' crowning log, ' ' more 
delightful in perfume than all the spices of Arabia, 
was placed on the top of the whole. After all the needful 
sticks of wood were piled on, I took a lot of green wan- 
nut, Rhode Island Chausen greening, sugar maple, 
black cherry, birch, and sassifax fine brush and chips 
and filled all the vacancies and interstices between the 
different sticks of wood, well intermingled with dried, 

C 211 3 


sweet-smelling sage, fragrant thyme, and Narragan- 
sett pennyroyal (the last named being by all odds the 
most delightfully odorous plant that was ever imported 
and transplanted by the gods into the rich soil of At- 
lantis, where, when fanned by the balmy, soft breezes 
from the Gulf Stream, it wonderfully thrived and 
spread on every hillside, until the plant has become, 
as it were, native to the soil). I arranged the wood for 
my proposed sacrificial fire as described, after the plan 
I remembered my grandfather pursued on important 
occasions, such as weddings, Christmas days, or when 
he expected public Friends (Quaker preachers) from 
England, Scotland, Ireland, or Holland, to stop a night 
or more at his house, as they sometimes did, from all 
these distant localities. I did this because I thought 
if anything would be likely to attract Phillis back to 
earth, it would most likely be one of the magnificent 
fires so common in her day, but now, alas, almost en- 
tirely done away with, to give place to gloomy-look- 
ing, sulphur-steaming iron furnaces, grates, steam and 
water pipes, and soul-benumbing and body-killing an- 
thracite coal stoves. In short, I was foolish enough to 
think that if the aroma arising from the putrid bodies 
of a few score of unbaptized Indians, murdered for 
their land by the old fire-and-brimstone Puritans of 
Massachusetts Bay, was sufficiently aromatic to ascend 
up to the deity they had created in their own dis- 
tempered imagination as a " sweet-smelling sacrifice, ' ' 
as Cotton Mather says, why, then, I saw no reason to 
doubt that Phillis, my grandfather's incomparable col- 
ored cook, who always delighted in making a mess 
of porridge and baking a jonny-cake for any forlorn, 

t 212 1 


unfortunate fellow-creature who chanced to come into 
her kitchen, even if nothing but a poor Indian, and 
who, I doubted not, had a living faith in the divine 
precepts inculcated by the tender-spirited and loving 
Jesus of Nazareth ; and, in the boundless mercy of his, 
and her, and all created beings' loving Father, God, 
I say I had no reason to doubt, under the circumstances, 
that she, (Phillis,) too, might be attracted to earth by 
a roaring, blazing, aromatic wood fire, such as she 
loved so supremely when clothed upon with flesh. So 
after placing upright against the mantel the identical 
wrought iron slice with which Phillis used to draw of 
a morning, from the oven, her dozen or more delicious 
loaves of Rhineinjun bread, the iron handle being some 
five feet long, for the special reason that otherwise the 
overpowering delicious perfume that poured out in 
volumes from her newly opened air-tight oven might 
knock her clean down, I lit the sacrificial fire at about 
9 o'clock on the evening of the day before mentioned, 
and sat myself down in one corner, determined to wait 
patiently for a couple of hours or so, Micawber-like, 
to see what, if anything, would turn up. What did 
turn up on that eventful evening I must, for the want 
of space (in spite of the cats in the bags) defer to another 
paper. I must, however, be allowed to say in another 
short parenthesis, that the unlucky mention of those 
"cats in the bags" brings to my mind an anecdote 
about ' ' letting the cat out of the bag ' ' that may cause 
me to burst if I am not allowed to relate, which I will 
for that reason venture to do, promising my readers 
that after that favor is granted, I will with due dili- 
gence proceed, in my next, to get Phillis, my grand- 

C 21 3 1 


father's, &c. (for shortness sake), out of the way, and 
then, after finishing Cat Story No. 2, explain as soon 
as practicable how Phillis, my grandfather's univer- 
sally-famed colored cook, happened to become "the 
remote cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette." So here goes ! 
Doctor Phisic was one of the most renowned of the 
Philadelphia medical faculty, which is saying a good 
deal when it is recalled to mind that Doctor Rush and 
his medical school took more lives with the lancet dur- 
ing a few years' practice than were destroyed by the 
sword in the late Civil War! Now, Doctor Phisic had 
a lady patient (remarkable for her wealth) whose case 
he was, with all his skill, unable to make a diagnosis 
of, although he had called by her request more than 
an hundred times to examine her symptoms. Finally, 
one day when the Doctor paid his usual visit, his lady 
patient put into his hand a bag with something inside 
of it, which she asked the Doctor to untie! He did so, 
and the mysterious cat immediately jumped out of 
the bag. To speak more plainly," The cat was let out 
of the bag," after which the Doctor married his lady 
patient, and she recovered her health without the use 
of drugs. 

C 214 ] 

Sixteenth Baking 

MY magnificent, not to say grandiloquent old-fash- 
ioned Narragansett fire roared up the chimney 
in a superb blaze of glory, filling the room with a light 
far transcending that of a cloudless noonday sun, and 
a perfume that would put to shame a thousand acre 
garden of the sweetest scented Persian roses. Lest per- 
verse readers should doubt what I say, I may here re- 
mark that to grace the occasion and make everything 
as attractive to Phillis (my grandfather's wonderfully 
accomplished cook) as possible, I placed on the centre 
table two lighted dipped tallow candles (ten to the pound) 
that I had with much pains obtained from the out 
of the way district in the South County called Hard- 
scrabble, where but few of the modern cussed patent 
improvements and labor-saving machines had as yet 
found their way. Chancing to cast my eyes in the di- 
rection of these home-made "ten to the pound," I 
observed that they had both (as I thought) gone out; 
but upon placing the forefinger of my right hand 
on the charred tow wick of the one nearest me in order 
to doubly assure myself of the fact, I got it badly 
blistered with the flame of the candle which was all 
aglow, though no longer visible in the superabundant 
and transcendent light of my sweet-scented wannut, 
oak, apple tree, maple, sassifax, and birch- wood sacri- 
ficial fire. Whether it was owing to the overpowering 
delightful odor that filled every corner and cranny of 
the room, or to some other cause, I know not, but I 
had scarcely reclined my head on the back of my easy- 

L 21 5 H 


chair, ere my senses seemed wrapped in sweet obliv- 
ion, and I resigned myself to sensations more delight- 
ful, I feel sure, than rum or brandy, opium or to- 
bacco, or any other earthly thing can bestow. From 
this pleasing reverie I was after a while aroused, by 
hearing a once familiar voice, repeating in never-to- 
be-forgotten tones, ' ' Lor' , sussy me — Lor' , sussy me ! 
sussy me ! sussy me ! did never a body ever seed ! did 
never a body ever seed ! ever seed ! ever seed ! ' ' and 
turning my eyes toward the corner opposite where I 
was reclining, I beheld an old colored woman seated 
in my stuffed rocking-chair, dangling the old iron slice 
on her knees, and casting her eyes with a look of won- 
der, hither and thither, on the pictures and engrav- 
ings that hung in close proximity against the walls 
of my library. At the first glance I knew Phillis (my 
grandfather's never-to-be-forgotten colored cook), for 
it was no other than she, with her short, gray, tight 
curled hair, surmounted with a cap of uncertain color, 
and dressed in a pepper-and-salt linsey-woolsey petti- 
coat (all spun, colored, and wove in my grandfather's 
family, as was the custom in those halcyon days), with 
a linen short-gown to match, and a heavy threaded 
white linen apron, reaching from her chin to her feet, 
and clean around her body, where it was tied with a 
string at the back. Phillis had on her feet the very same 
old slip-shod shoes she used to wear when I was a small 
boy, the identity of which I could swear to on the Bible, 
for the reason, if no other, that they were worn through 
at the toes, which signifies that Phillis would never 
accumulate property, the good, true, old-time adage 
holding that all who wear their shoes at the toes will 

[ Blfi ] 


spend as they goes, whilst those who wear them at the 
heel will live to get a good deal ; and again, those who 
wear their shoes at the ball will live to spend all ! 

The dear old soul was so taken up in the pictures on 
the walls, which, she said, beat anything she had ever 
seed in Narragansett, or in Heaven (the only places, 
she said, worth knowing), that it was some time be- 
fore I was noticed by her at all ; but the moment her 
eyes fell on me, the dear old critter exclaimed in much 
excitement : " Lor', sussy me ! sussy me ! Is that you, 
Massa Tommy? Why, I never seed how you have 
grow'd ! " On my assuring Phillis that I was no other 
than the little boy grown to old age, for whom she used 
to bake jonny-cake and parch corn, she seemed as if 
she would never tire of talking about old times, and 
calling to my remembrance scenes and incidents that 
transpired in my childhood days, such as my put- 
ting the old yaller cat into the woodchuck hole under 
the orchard wall and shutting her in with a big flat 
stone, and then my calling all the little nigs and nig- 
gresses around me to hear her and the woodchuck 
growl ; and then again all about my falling from an old 
high stone wall as I attempted to reach from its top 
a red-streak sweeting apple, and how I came pretty 
nigh being eat up by the hogs who were attracted to 
the spot by my yelling and hullabaloo, and how it took 
everybody in the house to beat the varmints off with 
window-sticks, canes, shovel and tongs, and the deuce 
knows what ; and how I got my foot mashed with the 
stones, and was obliged to sit all day long in my little 
armed flag-bottomed chair, that dear good old squaw 
Esther, the last Indian Queen of the Narragansetts, 

C 217 ] 


made for me, as she sat by Aunty Phillis' kitchen fire ; 
and how just at that time old carpenter Bill Gardiner 
came to new sill grandpa's crib, and made great piles 
of the most glorious spaulters and chips ever seen — 
and how I would not let any pickaninny, whether in 
hall or kitchen, white or black, touch one of them until I 
and my foot got well enough to let me work my way to 
the woodpile by jogging along in my little armed chair 
— and how I then sat there like King Nebuchadnezzar 
on his throne, only a heap sight prouder and bigger 
feeling than he, with my grandma's cane for a sceptre 
in my hand — and how I made all my subjects, male 
and female, white, yellow, and black, bring the big 
spaulters and chips and lay them at my feet, whilst I 
told them to do this and they did it, and to do that and 
they bowed their heads in submission, and how, when 
I placed my sceptre on the handsomest, smoothest look- 
ing spaulter, and told Sal to carry it to my grand- 
ma's room, how she hastened to do my bidding, and 
then hurried back again in a rush, and how, when I 
told yaller Suke to carry the next best looking spaul- 
ter to the ' ' great-room ' ' wood closet, she said nary a 
word, but run at my command — and how when I told 
Abe to take the knotty, bad looking spaulters and chips 
to Aunty Phillis to bake jonny-cake with, he too was 
obliged to obey me, and started sulkily oif on a slow 
walk! and how, when, on another occasion, I cut off 
with old Tom Gould's great chopping axe, a big but- 
ton wood log before I was five years old ! and how I 
began the job right after breakfast, and whenever I got 
off a chip as big as a fourpence hap-penny, how I ran 
in and showed it to grandma, and how she always said 
C 218 ] 


on every such occasion, that she did n't believe there 
was another five-year-old in all Narragansett who could 
make so big a chip, and how she always gave me a 
doughnut finger for it, and how I would then run as 
fast as my little legs would carry me back to the wood- 
pile, and work away with the heavy axe like a beaver 
until I got off another chip a little bigger, may be, than 
the last one I carried in, when I would take that too to 
grandma, that she might again feed me with a new 
supply of doughnut and praise ; and how I kept at my 
work without intermission, until after sunset, when 
I got the old button wood log chopped clean off, and 
how I wouldn't let Abe nor nobody else help me carry 
it into grandma's room, but rolled it over and over 
all the way myself as I sat in my little chair. And how 
grandma wouldn't let the log be put on her fire, but 
set it up in the corner of her room to show to folks what 
her little Tommy did all himself, always accompanied 
with the remark that she did n't believe there was ever 
a five-year-old boy in all Narragansett before, and cer- 
tainly nowhere else, who ever cut off so big a button- 
wood log. And how when I got the log all myself into 
grandma's room, she caught me up in her arms, and 
after kissing me to death, gave me a whole old-fash- 
ioned five-finger rye doughnut, and said she was sure 
a little boy of my grit and perseverance would be sure 
when he grew up to make a bigger man than Julius 
Caesar or Napoleon Bonaparte, which prophecy (I may 
here be allowed modestly to say), the logic of events has 
since proved to be true ! And then Phillis went on to tell 
how when my mother dressed me up one day in my 
best clothes, Abe (that born son of the Devil) enticed me 

[ 219 ] 


to roll in the cow yard with him to see which would 
beat in dirtying his clothes, and how when my mother 
dressed me up a second time, Abe made a bet of two 
sweet apples that he would dirty his clothes the worst 
by our rolling in the sink gutter, and how when my 
mother redressed me again in my last suit of clean 
clothes, she shut me up in the closet to keep me from 
dirtying them as I had the others. I well remember be- 
ing shut in the great-room closet on that occasion, from 
the circumstance that I then and there used the first 
bad words I ever remember to have uttered. It was after 
this wise: There was a motley brown, red, and yellow 
colored gallon molasses jug in the closet which, not- 
withstanding the dim light, I was not slow to discover. 
I remember it now with its cob stopple just as well as 
if it was but yesterday I saw it. Now I had in my pocket 
a sort of an old broken-pointed hacked bladed jack- 
knife that I traded a big chunk of gingerbread for with 
Pete Allen. After taking the cob stopple out of the jug, 
I opened my jack-knife and found I could just reach 
the molasses by holding the end of the handle between 
my thumb and finger, but not so deep as to afford a 
good lick of molasses. So I took the handle between my 
fore and middle finger and pushed the knife down as 
far as it would reach, with both my fingers thrust into 
the neck of the jug. I got five or six good licks in this 
way, but unfortunately in endeavoring to get my fin- 
gers a little too far in the nozzle of the jug, the knife 
handle slipped from between them and fell, blade and 
all, cajunct to the bottom of the inside of the jug. In the 
trepidation and excitement caused by the accident, I 
inadvertently exclaimed, "By George! " Where I got 

C 220 ] 


that heathen form of an oath from, I am sure I cannot 
tell. I think it must have come by nature, as I am sure 
I never heard it used in all my life before. Abe always 
swore "by Josh," and Mose, "by the Holies." So I 
could not have learned it from either of them, and there 
were no other persons in the house, black or white, male 
or female, who did not strictly obey Christ's command- 
ment, "Swear not at all." My grandfather was a 
preacher in the Society of Friends, and as I disremem- 
ber, sometimes used the injunction of Jesus as a text 
for a sermon. Wherever I may have got the bad words 
from — my mother, who was sitting in her rocking- 
chair sewing just outside the closet door, was greatly 
shocked at hearing her little boy use such wicked lan- 
guage, and taking me from the closet, she feelingly 
expostulated with me about the grievous sin I had 
committed, for a long time, and again when she put 
me to bed that night she sat by my bedside mor'n an 
hour, and prayed with me to be forgiven. She cried 
and I cried and promised her and God that I would 
never again use the naughty words ' ' by George, ' ' and 
to the best of my recollection I never have — not at least 
as an adjuration. I think if Phillis could have held her 
position here till doomsday she would have continued 
to talk Old Times, but remembering that Tom R. 
always said that spirits from the other world were no 
more omnipotent than mortals of this world — and that 
they are governed just the same as we are, by con- 
ditions, circumstances, and fixed laws, and that the 
power through which they manifest is limited, I be- 
gan to fear that Phillis would exhaust what powers she 
had before I got her opinion about Governor Howard's 

C 221 ] 


picture, which hung just opposite to where she sat, 
and upon which I observed her eyes were after a while 
mostly fixed, to the exclusion of all other objects in 
the room. So, with the object of changing the subject, 
I said, Phillis, of all the pictures in this room, which 
do you think the prettiest? " Wal," answered she, 

that black gal with the red short gown and yaller 
petticoat with a red silk bandanna hankercher round 
her head is a heap sight the prettiest picter of all ! " 
And, said I, Do you know, Phillis, who that black 
gal is? "How should a body know," said she, "who 
like me was dead long before the black gal in the picter 
was born? But, Massa Tommy, who was the pretty 
critter, do tell? " Said I, That black gal was drawn by 
a fine artist to represent you, Phillis ! "Golly, Massa 
Tommy," exclaimed Phillis, " don't make fun of dis 
old negur ! " No, said I; Phillis, I am in dead earn- 
est — the picture you see is meant to represent you and 
nobody else, just as you looked when you were bak- 
ing jonny-cakes in my grandfather's kitchen! Upon 
my saying this, Phillis, after giving the picture an 
indescribable comical look, asked, "Who made that 
picter, Massa Tommy? " I said, "It was executed by 
Forbes Co." "Where," inquired she, "does Forbes 
Co. live? " I said, "Forbes Co. reside in Boston ! " "I 
en'y jest thoughtso, ' ' said Phillis ; ' ' them Boston folks 
don't know northin' ! So, Massa Tommy," continued 
Phillis, "do tell what all them things in the picter 
mean?" Said I: "That thing on the right is a cup- 
board, in which is arranged a set of China plates." 

Golly ! ' ' exclaimed Phillis, ' ' what would old Missus 
thought to seen her Chany plates out in my kitchen ? 

£ 222 ] 


Them Boston folks don't know northin' ! And there, 
as sure as I be blest, if there ain't a tea-kettle set up on 
the shelf close to the Chany plates ! If there is anything 
on airth that old Missus would have 'spised more 
than another, it would be to see the tea-kettle 'side of 
her Chany. Them Boston folks don't know northin' ! ' ' 
Phillis next asked me what those things were on top 
of the cupboard. I said there was a work basket, a 
bottle — probably of yeast — and a little dish full of 
cake. When I mentioned the dish of cake, Phillis 
laughed right out. "Why," said she, "before Massa 
Tommy was five year old, he would eat all them little 
cakes at one mouthful. I never seed no dish of cake in 
my kitchen littler than a four-quart keeler would hold. 
Them Boston folks don't know northin'!" I next 
called Phillis' attention to the kitchen fireplace, and 
asked her how it compared with her old fireplace. 
That thing you call a fireplace? ' ' said she ; ' ' looks 
en'y jest as much like my old kitchen fireplace as that 
black gal looks like me ! Them Boston folks don't know 
northin'! And then that thing, I s'pose, was meant 
for a handiron. If there is anything on airth I 'spise, 
it is jest such a thing as that handiron ! Them Bos- 
ton folks don't know northin' ! " What, said I, do you 
think of the fire in the picture? "Golly," said Phillis, 
"you call that a fire, Massa Tommy?" Yes, said I, 
that was meant to represent your kitchen fire, which I 
suppose by your looks you thoroughly despise. ' ' No, ' ' 
replied Phillis, "I don't 'spise that fire a bit. That fire 
ain't worth 'spising. Them Boston folks don't know 
northin' ! " Said I, What do you think of the jonny- 
cake you are represented to be carrying to the table 

C 22 3 ] 


to turn? "You call that a jonny-cake, Massa Tommy, 
such as I used to bake in Massa Hazard's kitchen ! 
Why, Massa Tommy, that thing you call a jonny-cake 
is put on a board made out of a great thick black oak 
pork barrel head, which it don't cover much more than 
half over, and has nine blisters on it besides. My 
jonny-cakes was allers baked on a red oak head of a 
flour barrel, and I never made nine blisters on all the 
jonny-cakes I ever baked in all my life ; let alone nine 
on one jonny-cake. Them Boston folks don't know 
northin' ! " After this fashion, Phillis went on to criti- 
cise Gov. Howard's picture, in the most unsparing 
manner, showing from the smooth, unsanded floor to 
the flats and candlesticks on the kitchen mantel, that 
there was not one thing in it that bore the least resem- 
blance to her old kitchen and its fixings any more 
than the red jacketed black gal looked like my grand- 
father's wonderfully accomplished cook, who was the 
remote cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. ' ' Finally, Phillis, 
making a motion as if about to go, asked me whether 
or no Gov. Howard ever lived in Narragansett? I told 
her I believed not, but that his home was in Provi- 
dence. Said she, "Them Providence folks don't know 
northin' ; ' ' whereupon Phillis began perceptibly to fade 
away. Said I, Phillis, don't go quite yet ! I want to ask 
you some questions about Louis XVI and Marie An- 
toinette. Upon this Phillis' form again became pretty 
fully reinstated ; but she said I must be quick, as ' ' the 
'terializing power is en'y most all used up, and," said 
she, ' ' I want to get out of sight of that dreadful looking 
thing Governor Howard called a jonny-cake." I then 

C 224 ] 


asked Phillis if she ever now-a-days saw Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette. ' ' Lor' sakes, ' ' said she, ' ' Louis 
and Rie have been setting on that there sofa behind you, 
Massa Tommy, ever since I been here, only you can't 
see them because they haven't got their old cast-off 
clothes on." Said I, I wish, Phillis, you would ask 
Louis and Marie if the account I have written out con- 
cerning them and how you came to be the remote cause 
of the French Revolution and their death, is correct in 
all its parts and wording. Phillis said in reply that 
Louis was mighty pouty just now and would not say 
much because Rie had been looking all the time at 
a mighty pretty picter that hung over my desk, which 
Rie said was " en'y jest the prettiest looking man she 
ever seed in all her life." Phillis, however, told me that 
Rie said the account of the wonderful things that had 
happened in connection with Phillis and what resulted 
therefrom, as written out by me to be printed in the 
Journal, were all correct except that Rie's pillion cost 
but two dollars and a half instead of three, as I had it 
stated, and that Whales' bandanna pocket hankercher 
was made of half-silk and half-cotton, instead of all silk, 
whilst his umbrill was made of all nankeen cotton, in- 
stead of half-and-half, and had but one (and not two) 
whalebone sticks broke. I may be permitted here to 
say in parenthesis, much against my naturally modest 
disposition, verging on bashfulness — as before inti- 
mated — that the full-sized, half-length portrait that 
Marie Antoinette had been regarding for a half-hour 
or more with such unalloyed (not to say intense) ad- 
miration, greatly to the annoyance of her royal spouse, 
Louis, was executed in oil by Miss Jane Stuart, the 

I 225 ] 


daughter of the celebrated Gilbert Stuart, who exe- 
cuted with much artistic skill and fine effect the full- 
sized portrait of the immortal Washington. I may, per- 
haps, also be allowed to say without giving offense, 
that the writer," Shepherd Tom," had the honor of 
sitting for the picture so enthusiastically and justly ad- 
mired by Marie Antoinette for its superb beauty and 
elegant demeanor, thought by amateurs to be executed 
by the fair daughter of the world-renowned artist in 
every respect equal with or rather superior to that of 
Washington by her gifted father, which life-size like- 
ness of " Shepherd Tom" in respect to beauty 32 of face, 
feature, and head, and perfection of person — in every 
possible particular, including a surpassing amiable ex- 
pression of countenance and gracefulness of attitude 
(hence the secret of Marie's uncontrollable admira- 
tion), is thought by amateurs to greatly excel Miss 
Stuart's renowned father's picture of the Father of his 
Country. It should be remembered that Gilbert Stuart, 
the greatest portrait painter ever born into the known 
world, was a Narragansett boy by birth, he having first 
seen the light near the head of Pettaquamscutt river, in 
the north-east chamber of a double-ended brick house, 
still standing in good repair, and was baptized by Dr. 
MacSparran "on the 11th of April, 1756, on a Palm 
Sunday, Sureties, the doctor, Mr. Benjamin Mum- 
ford and Mrs. Hannah Mumford." See Updike, His- 
tory of Narragansett Church, p. 252. On my request- 
ing Phillis to get from Louis and Marie the details in 
full of the remarkable occurrences that took place in 
connection with her (Phillis) precedent to the French 
Revolution and the death of Louis XVI and Marie An- 
[ 226 ] 


toinette, she told me that Rie would gladly pass the long 
night in relating the story to me, were it not that Louis 
was so cross, and was constantly trying to get her away, 
so that she could not look at my picture. Phillis had 
scarcely told me this when she suddenly exclaimed, 
Golly, there they go through the window, Louis first, 
dragging Rie by the arm right arter him ! " I rushed 
to the window, but could see nothing, and on turning 
round found that Phillis had gone also. 

C 22 7 H 

Seventeenth Baking 

BEFORE proceeding with Cat Story No. 2, 1 will 
just remark that in printing the 15th baking 
(which has just come to my hand), either I or the 
Journal made an awful mistake in Shepherd Tom's 
Post Office address in the leaving out after ' ' Vau- 
cluse School District No. 1," the all-important words, 
South Portsmouth Post Office, the omission of which 
in the light of Postmaster-General Key's instructions 
to his subordinates makes the thing to resemble the 
immortal Shakespearean play of ' ' Hamlet, with the 
Prince of Denmark left out." Another dreadful mis- 
take occurs in the same baking, which, without re- 
butting evidence of the strongest kind, I shall lay at 
the doors of the Journal compositors and proof-reader. 
I mean where, in describing the wood used in the con- 
struction of Phillis' (my grandfather's superabound- 
ing colored cook) sacrificial fire, I am made to spell the 
old-fashioned Narragansett sweet-smelling white xvan- 
nutj with an " 1 " instead of a double ' ' nn, ' ' just as the 
Providence county common school larned woodmen 
spell the black-hearted walnut (not worth a damn) 
with which they cheat their Providence city customers, 
who, as Phillis elsewhere wisely remarked, "don't 
know northin'!" 

To begin anew, I think I left old Comstock with his 
eight bags of cats (one hundred in all) sitting in his 
horse-cart just as he got out of " Old Guinea," where 
I may just be allowed to say in parenthesis, after a 
comma to save time and breath, old Sharper Boose 

C 228 ] 


lived, an old African negro, who once put his shoulder 
to the hub of the wheel of an ox-cart, loaded with half 
a cord of green white ivannut wood that had got stuck 
in a mud-hole, and turned the load, cart and all, clean 
bottom upward, before the driver of the oxen had time 
to say Git up, or whoa, into the Matoonek road, a little 
south of old Quaker William Peckham's tannery, from 
whence the old man continued to jog along with his 
eight bags of full-grown and half-grown cats on his 
way northward past Cupid hill (known to some igno- 
ramus as Cubit hill), so named because the little devil 
of that name used to sit on top of it half the time and 
more on summer days, and squint sheep's eyes at the 
pretty damsels and milk-maids that passed along the 
road where the Goddess Venus and her newly mar- 
ried blacksmith Lord Vulcan passed their honeymoon 
after their marriage (which took place at or near the 
Narragansett Pier, in Atlantis), accompanied by the 
eldest Cupid, her bastard boy (who, as veracious his- 
tory relates, had mor'n a dozen fathers beside Jupi- 
ter) ; said hill and rural cottage being on the east side 
of said Matoonek road, a little north of Venus' hus- 
band's (summer season) smithy, which stood a little to 
the south on the west side of the road, on land that 
after the gods and goddesses finally left Atlantis, made 
a part of the "Hazard Perry homestead farm," so- 
called until after the battle on Lake Erie, when it took 
the sobriquet of "Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's 
homestead estate; " and so a little further on, where 
Squire William Peckham, Jr. (the widely known and 
respected tanner) , one of the truest and best men that 
was ever raised in South Kingstown, lived and died, 

[ 229 ] 


after bringing up reputably and carefully on the hon- 
est returns of his calling, a large family of children ; 
and so again on northerly, leaving on the right hand 
the old Edward Hazard house, that stood a little south 
of "Dockray's corner," where young John Dockray 
lived in my early days. His father, old John Bigelow 
Dockray, lived at the same time in the house further 
on, now owned by "lawyer Ned Hazard" (the lawyer 
part of whose name belongs to Providence, in the Plan- 
tations, and the other three syllables to Narragansett, 
in Rhode Island); and so on, by the old bush-topped 
red cedar tree that used to stand between said young 
John Dockray's house and the corner where the Little 
Rest road comes in — up which tree a nine-year-old 
boy, named Tim Brown, once climbed to a crow's nest 
in the top of it and brought down four crow's eggs 
in his big mouth, which he put under his mother's old 
setting hen, and after they were hatched he carried the 
heads of the young crows to Little Rest and got the 
town bounty of ten cents apiece for them. Thence leav- 
ing Sugar Loaf Hill a quarter of a mile to the right, 
where old Jonathan Sweet, son of Job, the natural bone- 
setter, used to live, and his sons Job and William and 
grandsons and great-grandsons without number, any 
one of whom has set and mended more bones scientifi- 
cally and without pain, duringthelast century, sheerly 
by a gift of nature, than has been done by all the sur- 
geons and doctors in the United States — and hence the 
bitter enmity of those legalized torturers and murderers 
of mankind ; and, after turning the corner to the left, 
proceeded on his way past the tall gum trees that used 
to stand in a swale close to the north side of the road 

L 23° 3 


(where the great solemn-looking Quawks used in my 
early days to build their nests and lay eggs nigh upon 
as big and twice as good as hen's eggs), and so on by 
old Gid Grenman's house that stood on the north side 
of the road j ust in the south-east corner of ' ' Old Britain' ' 
(called for short "Old Brit"), said Gideon having a 
beautiful green acre of land before his door that he had 
made rich by sea- weed, bones, old rags, &c, that he 
had, through scores of years, picked up and brought 
home in a back basket, strapped on his shoulders, which 
when he went fishing down to the Pint Judy rocks, 
in case he "cotcht no luck," he used to stuff with sea 
or rock weed and bring home on his back a distance of 
four miles and more; and so on westerly until he passed 
old John Gould's house, that stood in "Old Brit" on 
the north side of the road, he being the same scientist 
and philosopher who, as I have said before, used to say 
that he was sure the world never turned round, because 
if it did, the pot of small potatoes he always hung over 
his fire at night for his pig would be sure to be bottom 
upwards in the morning. 

After recovering my breath after the foregoing rather 
lengthy sentence, I will, before proceeding further, re- 
late an anecdote, wherein old Kit Robinson, in passing 
by John's house, just held up his horse a moment to 
inquire of old Miss Gould (John's wife, not Mrs. if you 
please, the latter term being applied in those primitive 
times only to ' ' quality folk ") , how her husband (then 
out at work by the day) expected ever to be able to pay 
for the three parts stone lot and one part moss (he heard 
he had lately contracted for) , situated on the other side 
of the road. In answer the old woman told one by one 

C 231 3 


some dozen or more ways by which her husband ex- 
pected to get the money, each and all of which were 
shown by old Kit to be fallacious in turn. Whereupon 
old Miss Gould, now driven to her wits' end, after 
two or three hesitating sighs, drew a long breath and 
remarked, that at any rate she thought they would get 
along somehow or another ' ' in the scrabble, ' ' and pay 
for their lot, upon which old Kit Robinson rejoined, that 
he feared it would prove a "hard scrabble " for John, 
from which saying not only old John Gould's new pur- 
chase, but a large, rocky, stony, and mossy district of 
country, lying on the south side of the Little Rest road 
opposite ' ' Old Brit, ' ' came to be known as * ' Hard- 
scrabble." "Old Brit" and " Hardscrabble, " miser- 
able districts of country as they certainly were in the 
olden time, might have been singled out purposely by 
the fates to illustrate, as I have before more than once sug- 
gested, the truth of the words, viz. : " From what little 
causes great effects (sometimes) arise. "Even so, and 
what if I should relate how the voters of these two little 
starvation districts once turned the scale, and elected 
a President of these United States, after a fashion, the 
exact details of which I do not at present incline to go 
into ; but take them for granted on the testimony of old 
Paris Gardiner, who, in my boyhood, lived in a house 
that until very recently stood in dilapidated condition 
on the extreme north end of Hardscrabble, on the south 
and west side of the Little Rest road before referred to 
as separating that once God-forsaken district of country 
from ' ' Old Brit. ' ' It would seem from Mr. Gardiner's 
veracious narrative, that previous to the election of the 
elder Adams to the Presidency, a most veracious stump 

C 232 2 


orator from Providence addressed the old Britoners 
and Hardscrabblers, on which occasion, after inform- 
ing his audience how much he had been impressed 
with the venerableness and extraordinary intelligence 
of the countenances and faces of the assembly before 
him (some of which, he said, seem to inherit the dust 
of ages), and severally comparing them individually 
to the Nestors, Ciceros, Diogeneses, Alexanders, Jul- 
ius Caesars, &c, of antiquity, the orator hesitatingly 
informed his listeners, that he felt he could impart 
to such intelligent citizens as those before him a pro- 
found secret known to but a very few persons in North 
America, which, when learned, could not fail to con- 
vince every independent freeman present, who had 
any regard for the honor and well-being of his coun- 
try, how immensely in all respects John Adams, the 
profound and fearless patriot and full-blooded Yan- 
kee, exceeded in every possible respect his competitor, 
Tom Jefferson, for the Presidency, who, to make the 
best of him, was nothing but a mean-spirited, low- 
lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired 
by a Virginia mulatto father, as was well known in the 
neighborhood where he was raised, wholly on hoe cake 
(made of coarse-ground Southern corn), bacon, and 
hominy, with an occasional change of fricasseed bull- 
frog, for which abominable reptiles he had acquired a 
taste during his residence among the French in Paris, 
to whom there could be no question he would sell his 
country at the first offer made to him cash down, should 
he be elected to fill the Presidential chair. With this 
exordium to commence with, the veracious speaker 
apologized for venturing to remind his auditors of a 

[ 233 ] 


fact; he said that men of their intelligence each and 
all already knew better than he did, that the treaty of 
peace between Great Britain and the United States was 
concluded and signed at Paris on the 30th of Novem- 
ber, 1782, by John Adams (the present candidate for 
election to the Presidency), Benjamin Franklin, John 
Jay, and Henry Laurens, the American commissioners 
on the one side, and Richard H'Oswald, Esq., on the 
Britisher's side, old John Bull with his characteristic 
pomposity and swelling Turkey gobbler self-conceit, 
holding that one Englishman was equal to any four 
Yankees, with something to spare to boot. After many 
days' discussion of the preliminaries of peace, with- 
out much, if any, prospect of the parties agreeing, the 
eloquent speaker said that old John Adams drew up 
a treaty with his own hand, which he first submitted to 
his brother commissioners, who, approving of every 
word it contained, one and all signed on the spot. 
Adams then laid the document before H" 1 Oswald, after 
reminding him that four out of five of the disinter- 
ested commissioners had voluntarily signed the treaty, 
and he, H'Oswald, must also put his fist to it, or 
engage with him in a single fight. H'Oswald, who 
was a burly Englishman, twice as fat and rotund as 
Adams, declared flatly that he never would sign so one- 
sided a contract, and flinging off his coat, defied Adams 
to decide the question by a simple round of fisticuffs. 
Nothing loth, continued the stump orator, the brave 
and plucky Adams at once off with his coat, vest, and 
pants and set upon H'Oswald Avith all the fury of a 
wild-cat. For some minutes both parties held their 
ground about equal, but Adams unfortunately chanced 

E 2 34 ] 


to place the sole of his heavy cow-hide boot on a piece 
of orange peel that old Ben Franklin happened to drop 
on the unsanded floor, he slipped, whenDickH' Oswald 
tripped him and fell with his whole heavy carcass 
directly atop of his antagonist. Old Ben now felt he 
had a duty to perform, and instantly casting away the 
part of the orange he still held in his hand, a piece of 
the peel of which had caused his brother commission- 
er's overthrow, he dove head-foremost right on top of 
Dick, and clinching him by both shoulders, set out to 
drag him off of his prostrate friend, and would no doubt 
have succeeded had not Jay and Laurens seized each 
a leg of Franklin as they shouted, "Fair play, Ben," 
and pulled him off of H'Oswald's back, but not until 
Ben had the presence of mind to snatch from the big 
broad cuff of his home-made sheep-gray diplomatic 
coat, the identical brass pin, three and one-half inches 
in length (which for the first nine months of his life 
he had used to hold his breeches up — said pin having 
been presented to Ben through his own written request 
by his mother when he was in his third year, and worn 
as a keepsake in the cuff of his coat ever since) , which 
brass pin old Franklin quick as thought now stuck 
full half its length right into the centre of H'Oswald's 
fat buttock. ' 'As you all well know, my most respected 
and intelligent hearers," continued the speaker, "the 
weather in that northern clime is always at that season 
of the year as hot as blazes, and mosquitoes are as thick 
and thirsty as you ever saw them in July on a salt marsh 
in Rhode Island, with an occasional gallinipper as big 
as a cockroach among them. These little stinging var- 
mints had lighted in swarms on the scarified portions 

C 2 35 ] 


of the two combatants during their ''blood and ''ouns'' 
struggle, and greatly tormented them, and now when 
Ben stuck his brass breeches pin full two inches into 
Dick's buttock, the terrified Briton fotched a spring 
three feet high, accompanied by a thrilling exclama- 
tion, 'A gallinipper, by Gauhd? It was now Adams' 
chance, who, clinching Dick H' Oswald as he fell back, 
dexterously turned him right side down and put the 
licks into his smellers and peepers right and left, until 
blood spurted in streams from the haughty Britisher's 
nose, and both his peepers were bunged up as tight as 
the port-holes of a man-of-war in a hurricane, when, 
finding it was no go, Dick sung out, • Nuhff, ' and with- 
out further parley or ado, signed the treaty with his 
own blood (Adams kindly guiding his hand) , together 
with a separate codicil, in which he shivore by all the 
roast beef and plum pudding there then was or ever 
should be thereafter in H' old H 'England, that he would 
never deny his signature nor go back on his conqueror, 
the veritable doughty John H' Adams, who is, now 
let me say to this distinguished assembly, a candidate 
for the Presidency of the United States of America, in 
opposition to that frog-eating thief and Parlez-vous 
rapscallion, Tom Jefferson of Virginia." 

"And now, gentlemen," continued the eloquent 
orator, ' ' let me tell you, upon the honor of a Rhode Is- 
land and Providence Plantation politician and lawyer, 
and in the name of Will Shakespeare, the great Rhode 
Island dramatist, that in the truthful narrative I have 
pronounced in your presence, I have set down ' naught 
in malice, naught extenuate, ' but have word for word 
adhered in every respect to the naked truth, with like 
C 236 ] 


fidelity that characterizes all the remarkable facts, anec- 
dotes, and incidents that are contained in the never- 
enough-to-be-praised printed tales of the Arabian 
Nights, and the travels by sea and land of the immor- 
tal Gulliver and Sindbad the Sailor. So now, gentle- 
men of Old Brit and Hardscrabble, 1 leave you to cast 
your votes in the coming crisis, on the results of which 
hangs the destiny of our beloved country and the world 
at large, just as becomes intelligent and incorruptible 
freemen like yourselves. " 

At the conclusion of the speech it was unanimously 
voted by the assembled freemen present, that any Old 
Britoner or Hardscrabble freeman who should not vote 
for the glorious John Adams at the coming election 
ought to be deemed guilty of treason and shunned by 
all his neighbors accordingly, whilst in case any in- 
dividual or individuals should dare to vote for that half 
Injun, half nigger, half Frenchman, with a touch of 
the bull-frog, Tom Jefferson, he or they should be rode 
on a green split chestnut rail, sharp side up. The con- 
sequence was, that when 'lection day came round, 
every freeman in Hardscrabble and Old Brit went to 
Little Rest and cast their ballots to a man for John 
Adams, which with the aid of manipulation 33 known 
only to President and Governor-makers, turned the 
scale in favor of John Adams, who accordingly was 
declared elected President of the United States of 

Old Comstock proceeded with his load of cats on his 
way to Little Rest until he came to the ' ' John Dock- 
ray Common," a tract of more than a hundred acres, 
that used, since my remembrance, to be dotted all over 

C 237 ] 


with immense wide-spreading white and black oaks, 
every one of which, I think (the more the pity), are 
now gone. Here the old man stopped his horse, and 
turned him out to bait on the common, whilst he him- 
self sat down in the shade of the old ' ' Jimmy Scrib- 
bins ' ' white oak tree to eat his lunch of jonny-cake 
and cheese. The cause of this white oak tree being so 
called was after this wise : Old Jimmy Scribbins, as I 
have before hinted in the matter of the yaller-breasted 
broiled eels at my grandfather's breakfast table, was 
a man of childlike simplicity, and although almost 
wholly ignorant of the ways of the world, he was, 
nevertheless, a most eloquent preacher in the Society 
of Friends, thus exemplifying the truth of those say- 
ings in Scripture that ' ' Out of the mouth of babes and 
sucklings I will perfect praise," and again, He has 
chosen the weak and foolish things of earth to con- 
found the wise," or words of similar import. Now it 
so happened that whilst riding one day, Jimmy was 
seized with so violent a toothache that he dismounted 
and holding his horse by the reins, sat him down in 
the shade of this identical tree. The pain of his tooth 
became so intense that he finally thought he must die 
on the spot, when it occurred to him that it might be 
thought he had died through drunkenness and thus 
bring reproach not only on his own good name but on 
that of the Society of Friends; he (Jimmy) took a piece 
of white chalk from his pocket and wrote in large let- 
ters on the smooth bark of the white oak, ' ' James Scrib- 
bins died of the toothake! " After a while the pain 
abating, the simple-hearted old man mounted his horse 
and rode away, never thinking to rub out the chalk 
[ 238 ] 


marks, which remained until they were' effaced by the 
rain. Old Jimmy used to live with my grandfather, 
with whom, as before said, he was a great favorite, 
because of his honesty and simplicity. I could tell many 
anecdotes of him, but will relate a couple only, and 
then proceed to finish up Cat Story No. 2, preparatory 
to telling how Phillis, &c. (for short). One day while 
Jimmy was putting up a gap in the wall on my grand- 
father's farm, adjoining the Tower Hill, old Post road, 
that used to be the main thoroughfare since my and 
old Ben Franklin's remembrance between Boston and 
Philadelphia, there came riding by Parson Romain, 
a proud, fat, and sleek-skinned priest of the Church of 
England. The Right Reverend reined in his horse as 
he came opposite Jimmy and said, " Scribbins, how 
many tons of pudding and milk does it take to make 
one rod of stone wall? " Jimmy, who had just raised 
a heavy stone from the ground, held it poised in both 
hands whilst he turned his head a little awry and, 
looking straight in the Parson's face, replied, "Just 
as many as it takes hireling priests to make one gospel 
minister! " Romain passed on to the south-west with 
nary another word! On another occasion my grand- 
father had a very noted English female public friend 
(ministers among Friends being called public friends) 
to dine with him in company with her traveling com- 
panions. She was very neatly attired (as Quakers al- 
ways are), and sat down to dinner in a broad, capacious 
apron as white as the driven snow. Jimmy Scribbins 
happened to be seated next to her on the right. Scarcely 
had the old man begun to eat his dinner, when chan- 
cing to look downward he fancied he saw a corner 

C 239 ] 


of his shirt sticking out from one side of the falls of 
his leather breeches, which buttoned tightly with three 
buttons, two of them being made of Spanish pistareens 
and the other (the middle one) of a Spanish quarter of 
a dollar (as was common in those days), all of which 
he had securely fastened on with wax ends. Again 
and again as the uneasy Jimmy looked slily downward 
his eyes still fell on the strayed flap of his shirt, not- 
withstanding his repeated efforts to tuck it into place. 
Jimmy had stuffed his breeches to their uttermost lim- 
its with the apparently endless shirt-flap and sat in 
an indescribable state of confusion and bewilderment, 
thinking at times that he was really possessed by the 
Devil. When at length the time came to rise and leave 
the table, Abe, who I have before mentioned in these 
papers, stood back of the English public ministering 
friend, and when she rose to go, that born son of Sa- 
tan, for some devilish cantrip known only to himself, 
snatched with a jerk the chair from behind her. She, 
on finding herself unable to straighten fully up, went 
through the motion of resuming her seat, but in con- 
sequence of Abe's deviltry, the English public female 
friend fell flat on her back, dragging Jimmy at the 
same time with her to the floor. My grandfather com- 
ing to the rescue, it was soon discovered that Jimmy 
Scribbins had mistaken a corner of the white apron of 
the English public female friend for the flap of his own 
shirt, and in his frantic endeavors to hide it, had forced 
more than two-thirds of the English public female 
friend's capacious apron beneath the falls of his leath- 
ern breeches. 

C 240 ] 

Eighteenth Baking 

WHEN old Comstock had finished his lunch of 
jonny-cake and cheese, he harnessed up Dob- 
bin and jogged along the road with his eight bags of 
cats (100 all told) towards Little Rest, leaving Gavitt- 
town half a mile to the left, where old Daniel Gavitt 
and his three brothers lived when I was a boy, the 
said Daniel being a Rhode Island freeman voter of such 
incorruptible integrity and sterling independence, espe- 
cially in the matter of casting his vote at elections when 
Governor John Potter or any of his political friends 
were up for office, that the aforesaid Governor was in 
the practice for many years of annually sending his 
friend Gavitt an ox-cart load of salt hay, because, as 
he was often heard to remark, he (Daniel) was never 
known to go astray from the right path in the exercise 
of the inestimable right of suffrage, let the "charmer 

[ 2 4l ] 


on the wrong side charm never so wisely." And so on 
by old Jim Knowles' gambr el-roofed brick house, who 
for many years in the good old time underbid all other 
purchasers of the ' ''poor of the town 1 ' at the annual sale 
of the town paupers at vendue to the lowest bidder, and 
as a general rule, fed and treated them as well as he 
could afford, except when ' ' Jim Knowles ' ' came home 
from some doings at Little Rest, drunk, when all the 
said town poor had to do was to keep out of their keep- 
er's way until he sobered again; and so on to "Tom 
Rodman's 34 corner," the said Tom, though the keeper 
of a New England molasses rum grog-shop, being one 
of the most honest men in South Kingstown, with a 
stiff leg without joint, which, Avhen he rode, stuck out 
from the side of his horse at a right angle, said horse 
having learned by long practice, as I have often wit- 
nessed, to bear or sheer away, first to one side of the 
road and then to the other, to intercept Tom's incline 
and keep him from falling off his back (which Tom 
never did except when he happened to be sober), as in 
his maudlin condition he first leaned one way and then 
the other at an angle of forty-five degrees and some 
minutes, the bone of Tom's leg having been rotted 
clean away by what the doctors then called, and which 
allopath diplomats still call a fever sore, made then as 
now, in every known instance, by the stupid malprac- 
tice of the death-dealing fraternity of Antediluvian Fos- 
silists, who are now plotting the destruction of all heal- 
ers of disease, not (as I fearlessly aver in the name 
of justice and truth) because the quack healers (as the 
diplomatists arrogantly call them) kill as they assert, 
but for the reason that they cure, and more than all 
E 2 42 ] 


others, the thousands of spirit healers who are now re- 
storing to health numberless sick and ailing persons 
after they have been pronounced incurable by the regu- 
lar M.D. *s, through the laying on of hands, a mode of 
healing practiced by Jesus and prescribed to His fol- 
lowers by Him as a test of discipleship, the immense 
success of which in the present day having raised the 
ire of the regular diplomatist practitioners to so great 
a pitch that they have already obtained the passage 
of laws in many states making mediumistic healing 
and natural bone-setting crimes punishable with fine 
and imprisonment under provisions of insidiously con- 
structed laws, which would, were Jesus to return to 
earth to-day and heal a poor sufferer of an issue of 
blood or other infirmity as of old, cause Him to be cast 
into prison and subjected to a fine ; the said house where 
Tom Rodman used to live having been occupied some 
years previously by Doctor Sangrado, a Connecticut 
human blood-swilling allopath, who was never known 
in a single instance, so far as I am informed, to gain 
access in the line of his hell-born profession to a family 
in the county of Washington, without sending with his 
lancet, opium, blue pills, Dover's powders, and scores 
of other murdersome mineral compounds and poisonous 
drugs, aided by the foul air of unventilated rooms, in 
which the stink of an hundred vials with as many Latin 
labeled boxes and packages of doctors' compounded 
poisons, ascended or descended towards death, just as 
the foul elements could find their way through un- 
chinked crannies in the walls or floor of the room, 
always closely sealed (by Sangrado' s order), with not 
a drop of fresh water even being permitted to cool the 

C 243 3 


parched lips and burning veins of the sufferer by the 
express commands of the same infernally-educated 
fool, who was used by his master the "Dragon," to 
fool still greater fools than himself and lead the way to 
"dusty death," from one to five of his so-called pa- 
tients in every family, until he and other doctors like 
him had, by their legalized murders, decimated half 
a county, when at last ' ' Shepherd Tom ' ' and a few 
other fearless men of common sense succeeding in 
convincing the survivors in Narragansett that the fall 
fever, then dubbed typhus and now typhoid by the 
M.D.'s^, that was then deemed to be, with scarcely 
an exception, a fatal malady, was altogether caused by 
the malpractice of Sangrado and his bleeding com- 
peers, upon which discovery Sangrado was forced by 
the public indignation to leave Narragansett and flee 
back to Connecticut (the Devil's own state), where he 
succeeded in making a meagre living by persuading 
enough priest and doctor ridden patients to consent to 
be sent to their graves through his administering (as 
all the allopaths are still doing) doses of soothing but 
life-destroying morphines, opiates, and other mineral 
compounds and drugs which are measurably as de- 
structive to life as was that of the now exploded lancet ; 
not exploded, let me say, by the doctors, but rather sub- 
mitted to by them in deference to and perforce of, a 
more enlightened public opinion, for I (Shepherd Tom) 
fearlessly assert that although the "leopard may 
change his spots and the Ethiopian his skin," never 
was there on earth since Mother Eve bit the apple, an 
organized body of Doctors of Medicine or of Divinity 
who were ever known to depart an iota from the rules 

E 2 44 ] 


of practice or belief laid down in their mediaeval books, 
unless in instances wherein the change was forced 
upon them by Outside Quacks and accursed reformers ! 
Now that I have recovered my breath after the fore- 
going tolerably lengthy but just anathema, I will con- 
tinue my narrative of old Comstock's journeying with 
his eight bags of cats (one hundred in number all told) 
by remarking that some half mile south and west of the 
Tom Rodman corner, and beyond Sot's Hole, com- 
mences what is called the "ministerial woods," which 
extends through Hardscrabble to Tuckertown, a dis- 
trict of country that used in my boyhood to be pretty 
much peopled by the family of Tuckers, the house of 
Nathan Tucker, one of the very best, most venerable- 
looking, and most patriarchical men that ever lived 
anywhere, whether in modern or ancient times, being 
situated near the north-eastern, white, sandy shore of 
Worden's pond, more generally called "the Great 
Pond," because of its bigness when compared with 
Tucker's pond, and the half-score or more of other 
laurel-enveloped and clear water lakes that abound in 
what is known as "the Hills," one of the most pic- 
turesque districts in Rhode Island, where the fairies 
used to congregate and dance by moonlight in the olden 
time when the gods and goddesses made Atlantis their 
summer abode, and where, on the bushy borders of 
Worden's pond, great yellow otters used to harbor 
since my remembrance, one of which short-legged 
quadrupeds once run across my path as I was riding 
on my gray mare along the borders of the said Worden's 
pond, and plunged into the water, after which all I saw 
of the cunning creature was just the tip of his nose 

[ 245 j 


making rapidly from the shore, said nose not looking 
bigger than a black Mexican bean, and after a minute 
or so, causing no more wake or ripple on the water than 
if it had been a small fly swimming on the surface ; 
Joshua Tucker, the patriarch of all the Tuckers (then 
a proverbially honest, tribal family of Old Narragan- 
sett), living a mile further south of Nathan on the 
northern shore of Tucker's pond, abounding with a 
thousand beauties and also with yellow perch. The said 
Joshua being the same true Christian who during the 
famine caused by the cold season of 1816, when ice 
made throughout New England in every month of the 
year save July, thus destroying all the corn crop except 
what grew on the immediate sea-shore of the favored 
Atlantis (the former summer home of the gods) , where 
the balmy breezes from the Gulf Stream protected the 
plant from the frost for some rods back ,from the salt 
water, who (Joshua) had his crib full of last year's crop 
of corn, which he dealt out by the peck or half bushel 
(never more at one time) to the poor, exclusively, at 
the usual price it commanded when there was a full 
crop, which price was less than half of what corn 
brought in that famine year at wholesale ; said ' ' minis- 
terial woods ' ' being so called because some poor priest 
or rather minister-hell-scared sinner bequeathed it on 
his death- bed to the Presbyterian Church, thinking he 
could thus atone for the sins of his soul by a gift of 
that he could no longer use himself; whom I have 
heard Tom R. say, who gets his knowledge of the after 
life direct from scores of angels, whom I have heard 
him also say he talks with in person face to face, as 
Moses did with God as naturally as with mortals, and 
C 246 ] 


from whom he has learned that if the donor of the 
"ministerial woods" when in health had e'en just 
gone some cold day and cut a load of good, sound, 
white wannut or e'en white oak in said woods, and 
then with kind and sympathetic interest pervading his 
heart and soul, yoked up his Lamb and Lion and Duke 
and Darby, and after nightfall carted and tipped his 
load of wood at the door of some poor suffering widow 
woman, who with her orphan children were shivering 
with cold, unbeknown to her, and come away without 
saying nary a word about it, that such an act would 
bring to his soul a greater reward in Heaven than would 
the building and endowing of every steeple-house in 
Christendom under the false expectation that he would 
thereby reap a rich reward in kingdom come. Before 
leaving the ' ' ministerial, ' ' I will just say that in a small 
hovel way off in the north-west corner of the forest, lived 
the old black sibyl or fortune-teller or prophetess or 
spirit-medium or witch, just as one's fancy might call 
her (they being all the same), Sylvia Tory, who died 
at the age of one hundred and four years, who Adam 
Babcock and Charles Barker (journeyman apprentice 
to Jonathan N. Hazard, carpenter), together with my- 
self, went some miles one Sunday afternoon (about the 
year eighteen hundred and twenty) to see, and get 
Sylvy Tory ' ' to tell our fortunes (all entire strangers 
to her), which she did for Charles and me, dwelling 
upon our future life for an hour or so more in truth 
than fiction, so far as I at least was concerned, but when 
she came to Adam Babcock (then in robust health), not 
a word could he get from the old shriveled, gray-headed 
crone save, "Don't you by no means go east," which 

C 247 3 


Sylvia repeated as often as Adam pressed her to say 
more, for some half a dozen times, without a word's 
addition or subtraction, " Don't you by no means go 
east ! ' ' which made Adam mad, but still he offered to 
pay her his quarter, the same as we did, which she 
persistently refused to accept, and on my asking the 
contrary old critter after Adam had gone outdoors, why 
she would not tell him his fortune, the old witch shook 
her head oracularly and said that "that young fellow 
has no fortune to tell ;" and sure enough, when Adam's 
indentures had expired, a week later, he went straight 
to New Bedford, some thirty miles due east of Sylvia's 
hovel, where he sickened in a few days and died a 
fortnight later. 

And so old Comstock kept on with his eight bags of 
cats (100 in all) until he reached old Paris Gardner's, 
who lived at the foot of Tefft's hill, just in the hollow 
adjoining the Genesee woods (where the Narragansett 
Pier Railroad now runs through them) , where I once 
saw, late in the evening, a great Corpesant (vulgarly 
called meteor) descend from the heavens and light in the 
Genesee swamp as big as a cart-wheel, which makes 
me think of old Jeffers, the old Brit wheelwright, who 
used to make first-rate cart-wheels without square or 
compass, but simply by the rule of ' ' guess and allow," 
the aforesaid Tefft's hill being the exact steep place 
where old Jabe Boss of Hardscrabble (the half black- 
smith, half carpenter, half cooper, and the other half 
tinker, who always put the finishing touch to his jobs 
of whatever sort or kind with a rasp a foot and more 
in length, with teeth half an inch long) dropped from 
his horse-cart a jug holding a gallon of sperm oil which 
C 248 ] 


he was bringing from Thomas S. Taylor's (the store- 
keeper) on Little Rest to Shepherd Tom's factory in 
Rocky Brook, to oil wool with, when as he said, hap- 
pening to hear something behind his cart goingcajunck, 
cajunck, he looked back and there he beheld Shepherd 
Tom's sperm oil coming out of the mouth of the jug 
in gulps just like as if the jug was seasick, and when 
he got to it he found the jug empty, all but about the 
pint of oil he brought to Rocky Brook round about by 
the way of his own house, where he stopped to get the 
outside of the jug wiped. The aforesaid Paris Gardner 
having been elected a member of the ' ' Little Rest Club 
of Good Fellows," because of his wit, on an occasion 
when the president of said club twitted him with being 
such a confirmed liar that he could not speak the truth 
if he tried to ever so hard, upon which the said Paris 
asked the president of the club what he would bet on 
that, when the president replied he would put up a 
quarter with him upon that question, whereupon Paris 
out with his quarter and said, "I can lie and I can 
speak the truth, but to tell the truth I would rather lie 
than speak the truth ! " whereupon the club adjudged 
that Mr. Garner was entitled to take the stakes for 
speaking the truth in one instance at least, and in 
addition received from the president of the club a cer- 
tificate of membership in consideration of his witty 
reply. There used to be when I was young, a funny 
story told of Paris Garner in connection with old Rich- 
ard Corey, who worked for my grandfather by the day 
for many years. In going home nights after his day's 
work was done, Richard used to go through the Wil- 
son woods, situated about half a mile north-east of old 

C 2 49 3 


Benny Rodman's Mill (now Peace Dale), where Rich- 
ard used to say he once saw a black-snake mor'n twenty 
feet long, with a carbuncle on his head as big as a tea- 
kittle. Richard's path lay through a small open space 
in the Wilson woods, which was some fifty feet across 
(where probably a coal pit had been once burned), and 
one night as he entered this cleared spot, a great horned 
monster, looking and roaring for all the world like 
a black bull, sprung out of the bushes and grabbed 
Richard round the middle, telling him that he was the 
Devil, who had come, he said, to take him to hell in 
consequence of his being such an abominable liar, 
who he could bear with no longer ; whereupon Richard 
begged most piteously to be let go for that time, prom- 
ising the Devil that he would never lie again, eeny jest 
so long as he lived, if his Honor would let him go jest 
for that onct, but still Richard's captor remained deaf 
to all his prayers until he had dragged his victim way 
into the middle of the great swamp that lies on the east 
end of the big Wilson woods, when the Devil relented 
so far as to tell Richard that he would spare him for 
that time on condition that he would bring to him 
at the "Devil's Ring" (as the aforesaid oval-shaped, 
grassy spot has ever since that time been called, even to 
the present day), on the next night, a bigger liar than 
himself, cautioning Richard, however, to beware of 
agreeing to do what he could not perform, as it would 
be worse for him in the end if he did, and bidding his 
terrified prisoner to say whether he could think of any 
bigger liar than himself in all South Kingstown ; where- 
upon Richard told the Devil that he didn't know but 
one bigger liar than himself, and that was old Paris 
[ 25o ] 


Garner, who lived at the foot of Tefft's hill, who, he 
thought, was a ruther bigger liar than himself, and that 
he knew of a way he could get Paris to come to the 
spot the next night without fail, whereupon after mak- 
ing a strange sort of gurgling in his throat that sounded 
very much like a suppressed laugh, the Devil released 
Richard on his solemn promise that Willi nilli he him- 
self would be on the spot the next night either with 
or without old Paris Garner, the biggest liar in South 
Kingstown, as he (Richard) asserted and believed. 
Now, as every well-informed man in South Kings- 
town knows, the old Thomas B. Hazard big house 
that lately stood on the east side of the old mill-pond 
(now the Wakefield mill-pond) was in the olden time 
a great resort for the pirates that used to infest the 
American and West India seas (which, by the by, re- 
minds me that Old Nailer Tom Hazard used to show 
me several pieces of weapons of war that had been 
plowed up near his house, among others the brass 
handle of a broadsword on which the name of Arte- 
mus Gould, pirate captain or mate, was inscribed), 
among whom was the famous Captain Kidd, who, as 
is well known, was in the practice of burying his treas- 
ures along the American coast in holes dug in the 
ground, with which he always buried one of his men 
(generally a nigger, because they are the most honest), 
to keep guard over it. I remember well when I was a 
boy seeing a great hole in the Wilson woods, where it 
was said, guided by a dream, old Jim Wilson got a 
heap of gold, and so the next day old Richard Corey, 
instead of going to work to my grandfather's, posted 
himself to old Paris Garner's and told him that he, too, 

£ »5l 3 


had a dream, and had dug down in the place until he 
reached the nigger's bones that old Capt. Kidd buried 
with his keg of gold, and being afraid to touch said 
bones, he had come to get him (old Paris) to go with 
him to the Wilson woods and get the gold, promising to 
give him half of the kegful if he would jest go down 
with him that night and take the nigger's bones from 
off on top of it; but old Paris (who, by the by, was the 
very Devil himself, dressed up in a bull's hide, that 
played the trick on Richard) flatly refused to go with 
Richard, for the reason, as he said, that he, Richard, 
was so big a liar that neither he nor anybody else could 
believe a word he said ; whereupon Richard went home, 
and from that time forward, instead of going and re- 
turning from my grandfather's by the shorter way of 
the Wilson woods, he always took a roundabout way 
further to the south, where there were no woods in his 

Now it so happened that just after old Comstock 
passed the house of old Paris Garner, and got opposite 
old Adam Gould's, on the other side of the road, he 
met his contractor, 'Lisha Garner, who, hearing that 
Comstock was bringing his load of cats as he had 
agreed, to Joe Runnell's on Little Rest, set out to meet 
him on the way, when he no sooner saw the bags of 
cats in Comstock' s horse-cart than he (Garner) ex- 
pressed a wish to look at one of the full-grown cats 
to see whether they were mercantile cats, such as he 
had contracted with Comstock to deliver for one dollar 
per cat (100 all told), whereupon the old man (Com- 
stock) carefully untied the mouth of the bag and took 
therefrom a big tom-cat, which he carefully handed 

C 252 3 


to Garner to inspect, as he (Garner) had requested; 
whereupon the said tom-cat manifested a disposition to 
bite Garner with his teeth and scratch him with his 
claws, which caused Garner, as he averred, to let go 
his hold of the devilish cross thing ; whereupon said 
tom-cat immediately darted into an open window into 
old Gould's front room, upon which old Comstock 
(poor confiding man) hastily handed the mouth of the u n- 
tied bag to the treacherous Garner to hold close whilst 
he ran into Gould's front door after the escaped tom- 
cat. But Garner (who was playing possum all the time) 
was no sooner left master of the situation than he out 
with his jack-knife and cut every string that Comstock 
had tied the bags with, and then nimbly mounting, 
rode back to Little Rest as fast as his horse could go, 
whilst poor Comstock, who had entered Gould's house 
in pursuit of the runaway tom-cat, was suddenly bereft 
of his understanding, and overcome with consterna- 
tion, by seeing and beholding every full-grown and 
half-grown cat come pouring in an unbroken stream 
into the open inclosure of Gould's front room, and from 
thence through the open doors and windows into the 
thickest of the adjoining hundred acre swamp, which 
extends along both sides of the Genesee run until they 
are both (the swamp and the brook) lost or merged 
into the north-east corner of the great swamp, which 
is bounded for three miles on the south by the afore- 
said ' ' Worden's "or " Great Pond, ' ' out of the west- 
ern extremity of which pond proceeds the main branch 
of the Pawcatuck river, on which near the pond used 
to stand Holburton's (the Englishman) wool-carding 
mill, whose son Harry I have heard tell how there was 

C 253 ] 


a fellow by the name of Jim Smith, who lived near 
Zachary's bridge, not far from their carding mill, who 
was so cussed bad that "God Almighty couldn't save 
him if He tried to," which north-west corner of the 
swamp is only a mile or two from the little rising mound 
situated on the north-west corner of said swamp, where 
the great swamp Indian fight came off one bitter cold 
night in 1675, when the noble Narragansett Indians 
were exterminated, as they were fighting for their coun- 
try against the combined forces of devilish blue-law 
Presbyterians of Connecticut, and the cussed witch- 
drowning and Quaker-hanging Puritans of Massachu- 
setts, who, after the battle, as I have heard old Daniel 
E. Updike (who used to keep the A No. 1 tavern in 
East Greenwich) say, took their prisoners to his grand- 
father's house (near Wickford) that stood on the side 
of Smith's block-house, said block-house being the 
first building of any kind that was put up in King's 
(now Washington) county by the first white settlers, 
and the next morning a company of the Puritans and 
Presbyterian sainted devils (before swearing in their 
daily morning prayers), took a lively young Indian 
into the orchard south-east of the house, where, out of 
pure cussedness, they laid his head on the stump of a 
tree, and cut it off with his father's chopping axe, — 
taking with them (the cats) in their hasty flight mor'n 
a half-dozen nice white perch, which the poor oldnegur 
Gould had brought home an hour before: the little fish 
being all his luck that day in his fishing ''bout opposite 
Gooseberry Island, in Narrow (Pettaquamscutt) Cove, 
which fish his wife had just finished frying for dinner, 
which made old Gould dreadful mad with his wife 

C 254 2 


because she had joined the New Light meeting some 
months before, and he had always told her since then 
that every old woman in that church was a witch, and 
would be proved to be so before it was over with, which 
he said had now come to pass, and that every critter 
that had got into his house that day and carried off 
the fried fish were no other than the old women who 
had jined the New Light meeting turned into cats, — 
which brings to my mind that I have not yet written 
a chapter on the fish of Narragansett, which of course 
I ought to and must do, after I finish Cat Story No. 2, 
before I tell my readers how it came to pass that Phil- 
lis, my grandfather's superabounding cook, came to 
be the cause of the French Revolution, and the death 
of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. 

I *55 ] 

Nineteenth Baking 

JIM Syms (an honest old colored man), who lived in 
the farther end of the same house as Adam Gould, 
used to say that as soon as the last cat had scooted out 
of his west window and disappeared into the Genesee 
Swamp, old Comstock snatched the new beaver (that 
he had bought the day before out of his anticipated 
cat money) off his head and stamped it into the wet 
ground, whilst he cussed all the 'Lishe Garners, Billy 
Grays, and journeyman hatters that then were, ever 
had been, or were to be, for a full half hour, after 
which partial easement of his mind, the old man got 

C 256 ] 


into his cart and urged Dobbin on his fastest gait 
toward Little Rest, where, on his arrival, he made an 
hour's diligent search for Garner without success, that 
wily cat contractor having, in anticipation of what 
would follow, concealed his whereabouts until old 
Comstock had left the village next morning for his home 
in Newport. After his arrival in Newport, Comstock 
proceeded to Lawyer Joe Aplin's office, who, for a rea- 
sonable consideration, after examining the terms of his 
client's unwritten contract with Garner for the pur- 
chase and delivery of the one hundred full-grown and 
half-grown cats (all told), gave it as his professional 
opinion, that said contract was of too vague a char- 
acter to be enforced in a Rhode Island Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, in the absence alike of both documentary 
and oral testimony, apart from the fact that Cook, the 
journeyman hatter, being in a measure a party con- 
cerned, rendered his evidence inadmissible before a 
jury; at the same time that he was not suable him- 
self as a party (so Comstock said) from the well-known 
fact that he, the said Cook, was a miserable, unsanc- 
tified, wandering Massachusetts vagabond, not worth 
a damn'd copper. So Comstock, from sheer necessity, 
was forced to submit to the loss of his pig pork and 
bide his time to get even with Garner, nor was it long 
before an opportunity occurred to pay the ' ' cat inspec- 
tor " (as Comstock nick-named Garner) a part of the 
debt in somewhat like kind. It happened after this 
wise : Comstock arrived and put up at Joe Runnell's 
one blustering evening at February Court time, where 
he found 'Lisha Garner toasting his feet in the " gret- 
room," he having just returned from a long ride on 


horseback in the cold. Said Comstock, without stop- 
ping to compliment, "Mr. Garner, I want you to go 
right over to Squire Totten's and get a writ to serve 
on Simon Belcher, who owes me nineteen dollars and 
ninety cents for a lot of pig pork, and is now stopping 
at his cousin's in Hopkinton City, on his way to Con- 
necticut. I want you to go right off airly to-morrow 
morning, so as to catch Belcher before he gets over 
the line and out of the jurisdiction of Rhode Island into 
Connecticut. If you catch Belcher and bring him back 
with you," continued Comstock, "I will, in consid- 
eration of the bitter weather and urgency of the case, 
pay you double fees for your services! " Thus enticed, 
Garner got his writ of Squire Levi Totten, and early 
next morning started on horseback in a violent storm 
of snow, hail, and rain, to serve it on Belcher before he 
could escape to Connecticut, where he would be safe 
from Rhode Island law and all other law, except Blue 
Law. Late in the evening the deputy sheriff returned 
to Little Rest wet to the skin as a drowned rat and 
shivering with cold, and at once hied himself to Joe 
Runnell's, where he knew he would find a good blaz- 
ing fire to dry and warm himself by. When Garner 
got to Joe's, he found all the ' ' Little Rest Club of Good 
Fellows" assembled there, with Comstock in their 
midst. Said Comstock, on the deputy sheriffs tak- 
ing his seat, "What luck, Mr. Garner?" "No luck 
a'tall," chattered out Garner. "I rode all day in the 
d — d storm, but could n't find nor hear a word of the 
cussed scamp . " " What sort of a writ did you have ? ' ' 
asked Comstock. "Why," replied Garner, "as good 
and regular a writ as was ever served on an abscond- 

c 258 n 


ing debtor. " " Ah , ' ' replied Comstock, ' ' there 's where 
you made a mistake, Mr. Garner; your writ was not 
of the right kind." "What kind of a writ," said the 
deputy sheriff, "should I have had?" "You should 
have got Squire Totten to have filled you out an Og- 
matorial writ, " said Comstock. "What sort of a devil 
of a writ is that? " savagely asked Garner. "An Og- 
matorial writ," replied Comstock, "is a writ to take 
a man where he ain't! " The cat was now fairly out of 
the bag — and amidst a deafening roar of laughter 
from all the club, 'Lisha Garner hastened out of Joe 
Runnell's "gret-room," and took himself home. 

Not long after this, Charley Comstock got a sign 
painted and hung on hinges for his tavern on Ferry 
wharf, in Newport, on which, as I think I have be- 
fore hinted, a very life-like picture of 'Lisha Garner 
was painted, with the words underneath, "the cat in- 
spector. ' ' Comstock also published a little book about 
the same time entitled a ' ' History of South Kings- 
town," in which a full account of his dealings with 
Garner and Cook concerning the one hundred cats, 
big and little, all told, was narrated, which I have said 
something about (I think) before. I disremember ex- 
actly the year in which Comstock raised his sign, but 
think it was when I was a small boy of some seven or 
eight years old, when we lived for a short time on ' ' the 
Point" in Newport, I guess about the year 1805. Itwas 
just about the time I played truant from school for the 
second and last time, of which my readers may have 
heard. It was after this wise: Ike (my elder brother) 
and I saw some bad boys one day along the shore up 
by the "Blue Rocks," stoning a young robin that 

t 259 ] 


they had set in a bush stuck in the ground. To save 
the life of the poor thing Ike and I gave the boys 
all the coppers we had, for the poor bird, and on the 
way home I persuaded Ike to give me his half of the 
robin. So I got Abe (that born son of the Devil) to 
make me a little stick cage for my bird, which I care- 
fully nursed and fed until one morning I found it dead. 
What it died for I never could tell, for I stuifed it from 
morning till night with as many worms and grains 
of corn as I could cram down its throat, just as the 
doctors stuff a patient with beef tea, who is dying 
with a fever of their own making. However, the poor 
little robin died just as most of the patients of the doc- 
tors do, and so Abe and I concluded to bury it in one 
corner of the ship-yard, after breakfast, Abe to preach 
the funeral sermon from Lamentations in. 52 : "Mine 
enemies chased me like a bird." Now it so happened 
that Abe was so long making up his sermon that the 
time came for me to go to school, and mother sent Mar- 
garet down where I was digging Robby's grave to 
tell me I must start right away to school else I should 
be too late ! This made me mad, and instead of keep- 
ing on my way to school, I stopped side of the ship- 
yard, just in a corner made by the east end of the fire 
engine house and the south fence of the ship-yard, 
north of the William Hunter house, and made up my 
mind to stay there, happen what might, until school 
was out and then hasten home and bury Robin. There 
I stayed and stayed until it seemed to me as if forty 
years had gone by, and yet I saw no boys returning 
from school. At length, grown desperate with long 
waiting, I crept out to the corner of the street just as 

t 26 ° 1 


old Sci Robinson was passing, and said, in a half whis- 
per, "Uncle Sci, it 's past twelve o'clock, ain't it?" 
How the old nig found me out I can't tell, but he hol- 
lered loud enough to be heard a mile: "Ah! you ras- 
cal, you're playing truant! " which made me shiver 
and shake all over. I will just say here in parenthesis, 
that old Scias was one of my great-uncle Thomas 
Robinson's negroes, who was just the crossestold crit- 
ter that ever lived, although he was always treated with 
the utmost kindness by his master and mistress. Aunt 
Sally Robinson always made Sci's shirts with her own 
hands, and one day after she was seventy years old, 
she made Sci four new linen shirts and called him into 
the ' ' gret-room ' ' to give them to him. Said she, ' ' Sci, 
I am growing old, and I fear these are the last shirts 
I shall ever be able to make for thee." Sci examined 
the shirts carefully, one by one, and then grumbled 
out, ' ' Where 's the patches ? ' ' That was all the thanks 
Aunt Sally then got from Sci or ever did get from him ! 
But this is not here nor there to the cat storv, and so 
I will proceed : When Sci guessed so right about my 
playing truant, it struck me to the heart just as if I 
had been shot, and I again slunk back to my former 
stand by the engine house- — where I stayed as it seemed 
to me for another forty years, when concluding all the 
boys must have gone home from school some other 
way, I too proceeded home, and on entering the " sit- 
ting room' ' where mother was sewing, with my guilty 
eyes fixed on the clock, I said, ' ' It 's past twelve o'clock, 
ain't it, ma?" It lacked still a quarter of noon, and 
so I was blowed. I and Abe, however, buried Robin, 
whilst mother stood at the window and listened to the 

r 2 6i ] 


funeral sermon. I think she was somewhat affected by 
Abe's touching words, for before I started for school 
after dinner, she gave me a note to hand to old Clark 
Rodman, the Quaker preacher school-master, which 
he read and never said nary word to me about play- 
ing truant. But I had got enough of that pastime, 
and never after, in all my school days, was tempted to 
repeat it. And here I can't help but say, that I more 
than half believe in the judgments of God, for of the 
five boys that were stoning the poor little young robin 
to death, I know that three of them have since died 
violent deaths, whilst of the remaining two, one died 
in jail and the other in a poor-house. Talking about 
schools, I don't remember of there being more than 
three in Newport when I was a small boy, though 
doubtless there were more. Suky Wickham kept one 
for very small boys and girls, I think, not far from the 
State House, in a little cross street running from the 
Parade to Marlboro' street. Old Clark Rodman kept 
another school for the bigger boys and girls somewhere 
a little south of the Parade and east of Thames street. 
Green Carr was the bully of Clark Rodman's school, 
and was always a leader of the boys of that school in 
their fights with the big boys of "Tower's school," 
who used to set themselves up for gentlemen. (I will 
just say here in parenthesis, that old Clark Rodman 
was much given to absence of mind. He was a Quaker 
preacher, and sat on the high seat next below old 
Bishop David Buffum, father of the late David Buffum, 
and grandfather of the present Thomas Buffum, who 
lives by the two-mile corner, near Newport. Clark was 
very careful to get to meeting betimes, and one Sun- 

C ^2 ] 


day morning he was seen bustling in a great hurry all 
about the house with a boot in each hand, complain- 
ing that he should be late to meeting, because he could 
not find the bootjack to put his boots on with.) Boys 
used to have jolly times in Newport, them days. I re- 
member when a lot of big boys used to stand at the 
north-east corner of the Parade and Thames street (then 
called Vaughn's corner), with the bosoms of their shirts 
pulled out and full of frozen snow -balls, and pelt as 
many passing, well-dressed women and dandy-looking 
boys as they were a mind to, there being no bespan- 
gled, blue-coated policemen in those days to interfere 
with their innocent sport. They used to have glorious 
fights, too, them days. Newport was then divided into 
four boys' quarters ; the "up-town boys " owning the 
north-east part of Newport, the " over-to-The-Point 
boys ' ' the north-western part of the town, called then, 
as now, The Point; the "Long-wharf boys" living 
on the Long Wharf, and the "down-town boys" in 
the southern part of the town. Free May berry (still 
living) was the bully of The Point boys ; Jim Shaw, 
of the up-towners ; Ned Allen, of the Long Wharf ers ; 
and Green Carr, of the down-towners. There used to be 
a ditty song with four lines in those days in vogue that 
was a favorite among all the boys except the ' ' Long- 
Wharfers." The words, when the lines were repeated 
by the "over-to-the-Point Boys," of which I was one, 
run thus: 

"The up-town bullies, 
The down-town brats, 
The over to the Point gentlemen 
And the long- wharf rats." 

C 263 ] 

As sung by the up-town boys : 

"The over to the Point bullies, 
The down-town brats, 
The up-town gentlemen, 
And the long- wharf rats." 

Again, as sung by the down-towners : 

"The up-town bullies, 

The over to the Point brats, 
The down-town gentlemen 
And the long- wharf rats." 

The reason why the Long-wharf boys did not like the 
song was, because the rats could not be made to fit any 
other quarter of the town than the Long Wharf where 
they belonged. Consequently the " gentlemen " could 
never become the distinguishing burden of the song 
when applied to the Long Wharf . In those blessed days, 
all that was necessary to get up a regular row was for 
the boys of any quarter of the town to parade of an 
evening in another quarter singing the song with the 
"gentlemen" line applied to themselves, whereupon 
the bully of the invaded quarter would summon his 
forces and fist fight the insolent foe until one side or the 
other cried ' ' NufF, ' ' when the combatants would cease, 
often with bloody noses on both sides almost without 
exception. It used to be thought that the great naval 
victory won on Lake Erie by Commodore Perry and 
his first officer, Daniel Turner (both Newport or Nar- 
ragansett boys), was greatly owing to the solid fun and 
capital training Perry's brave tars had been favored 
with in the street fights I have described, his fleet being 
largely manned with Newport and Narragansett boys. 
C 264 H 


"'Lection day" in Newport, from time immemo- 
rial, has been the greatest invention in the way of 
show that was ever got up by any Barnum on earth, 
whether in ancient or modern times. 

I remember talking many years ago in Paris with 
Mr. Dennison, our then consul in that city, about the 
great cities and great spectacles of earth. He told me 
that when a small boy he went with his father to 
11 'Lection" in Newport, at which time he was more 
impressed with the immeasurable magnitude of the 
town — the magnificence of its streets and buildings, 
and the splendors of the 'lection scenes and parades, 
together with the rich and resplendent costumes and 
semi-regalia of the Governor elect and his suite, as he 
marched up the parade with drums a-beating, fifes 
a-playing and colors a-flying — than he had ever been 
since, although he had visited nearly all the great cities 
in both Europe and America, and been present in several 
capitals and witnessed the coronations of Kings and 
Emperors, besides some Queens. "In fact," said he, 
"I have never since seen anything that could hold 
a dipt candle to what I saw on that occasion in New- 
port, nor do I ever expect to, either in this world or in 
the world to come." 

In the olden time, every man in Narragansett who 
could raise money enough to pay his passage to and fro 
to Newport (which since my remembrance was but 
twenty cents over the two three-mile ferries), attended 
'lection, and above all others, holders of office of any 
and of all grades and degrees. Of course, Deputy 
Sheriff" Elisha Gardiner always attended and saw the 
Governor take his seat in the gubernatorial arm-chair. 
C ^5 ] 


It must have been in the spring of 1805-6, that Dep- 
uty Sheriff Gardiner attended 'lection in Newport for 
the last time. On that occasion, as he passed up from 
the Ferry wharf at the lower or down-town ferry into 
Thames street, he could but observe how exactly like 
himself was the full-length portrait that swung opposite 
Charles Comstock's tavern. This caused some uneasi- 
ness, which was not at all diminished when he saw two 
or three well-grown boys apparently comparing his 
own physique with that of ' ' The Cat Inspector ' ' on the 
tavern sign. He, however, put on the best face he could 
and marched up to the State House, where he arrived in 
season to witness the inauguration of the new Governor. 
Green Carr, the bully of the down-town boys, — where 
Charles Comstock resided, — was observed to be eyeing 
Deputy Sheriff Gardiner very closely and peculiarly, 
as he sat not a great way from the Governor. Green 
was a great admirer and friend of Comstock, because 
the old man lived on the Ferry wharf close by where he 
did, and besides occasionally treated him to a glass of 
cider for taking some country truck or a traveler's lug- 
gage from the ferry-boat up to his tavern, and besides 
this all the down-town boys (Green among the rest) had 
a patriotic fellow-feeling for Mr. Comstock, because 
he was a citizen of their quarter of Newport. So what 
does the bully of the down-town boys (Green Carr) do 
but to sidle round and tip the wink to Jim Shaw, Ned 
Allen, and Free Maybray, three bullies, severally of the 
"up-town," "over-to-the-Point," and "long-wharf 
boys," and intimate to them, one and all, that the ver- 
itable "Cat Inspector," whose picture was on Com- 
stock's tavern sign, was come to town, and then about 
[ 266 ] 


to leave the State House on his way to the ferry-boat. 
Green Carr's hint to his fellow-bullies was sufficient, 
and Garner had hardly well got off the State House 
steps into the street when the four bullies of the four 
quarters of Newport, each and all raised their respec- 
tive Cat calls, that brought around them nearly every 
rowdy boy in Newport. Nor were they slow in divin- 
ing the service that was expected from them by their 
leaders, but immediately surrounded the unhappy 
deputy sheriff and began action at once. The deafen- 
ing shouts of "cat inspector" rent the air, while a 
score of Newport's future heroes would be buffeting 
or ruffling Gardiner at once — from afore, beside, and 
behind. The hat of the unfortunate man quickly dis- 
appeared, and his garments were passing away by 
piecemeal, while every step he made, amidst showers 
of fire-crackers let off on his head, in his pockets, be- 
tween his legs, under his nose, and elsewhere, lighted 
him on his struggling way until he reached a point on 
the parade opposite old Charley F eke* s, the apothecary, 
who then kept the shop now occupied by Mr. Allen, 
the druggist, it being, I think, the oldest apothecary's 
stand in New England, if not in the United States. I 
may be allowed to just remark here in parenthesis, that 
I used to know "Charley Feke." His outside form 
was not much to boast of, he being but a little dried-up 
looking, crippled body, but then he was, without ex- 
ception, the largest-souled and truest-hearted man and 
the best Christian that ever lived in Newport, by a long 
shot. The old man used to always keep a supply of 
children's apparel, shoes, &c, secretly stowed away 
under his counter, and whenever a poor, shivering 


young 'un, whether boy or gal, came to his shop on 
an errand, or otherwise — the old man had a way of 
knowing exactly what they most needed in the matter 
of clothing, and could also make an exact fit without 
taking their measure — and so he would, with nary 
a word, do up the stockings, shoes, or what not, in a 
bundle and hand it to them just as they were leaving 
his shop. 

It is true that I do not much believe in monuments, 
but still I must say, that if the Newport folks should 
be inclined that way, I think they could do no better 
than to erect one to "Charles Feke," and place it in 
Washington square, just a little way east of the foun- 
tain, opposite his apothecary shop. (In fact, a beautiful 
stone fountain would be the appropriate design.) I know 
that I am not a bit mistaken in old Charles Feke's de- 
servings, for I have heard TomR. (who never mistakes 
in anything) say that he once asked a spirit who was 
talking to him through the organism of an entranced 
medium, who had never heard of Charley Feke, what 
Feke's condition was in spirit life, who answered him 
that "Charles Feke was a Christian, and a man of 
true and unbounded sympathy, charity, and benevo- 
lence. Although eccentric, he was intelligent and of a 
deep, affectionate nature, and altogether, a noble, gen- 
erous soul, who loves his fellow-men, and is one of the 
most refined spirits that I have seen. He is calm, noble, 
just, and his deeds of kindness whilst on earth are 
stars that light him on in his celestial progress." . 

Lucky was it that that ' ' cat inspector's ' ' way led by 
Charlie Feke's shop, who was the only man in New- 
port for whom his persecutors had sufficient love and 
C 268 ] 


respect to enable him to rescue the poor tattered and 
exhausted biped out of their rabble hands. As it was, 
when the good apothecary approached, all the boys 
stood aside whilst he led their victim into his shop, soon 
after which Gardiner's persecutors adjourned to the 
lower ferry wharf, at the foot of Mill street, calculat- 
ing to have the balance of their fun out when the cat 
inspector came down to take the ferry-boat on his way 
to Little Rest. But in this they were disappointed, for 
the good Samaritan , probably guessing their design , had 
the sheriff's torn and diminished garments removed, 
and arrayed him in an old Quaker suit of drab (that 
he happened to have in his house), after which he led 
Gardiner out by a back way into Duke street, and so 
down Marlboro' to Thames, and up Thames to Bridge 
street, and so over to Barton's wharf , where the' ' Point ' ' 
ferry-boat happened to be waiting — aboard of which 
Charley Feke saw poor Gardiner safely deposited and 
started for Conanicut before he left him. This was the 
last time Elisha Gardiner, the deputy sheriff and nick- 
named "Cat Inspector," ever went to " 'Lection" — 
nor was it long before he sold his house and lot on 
Little Rest and departed for some parts unknown in 
the great West, clean across the Hudson river. 

This ends Cat Story No. 2, thank the good angels 
— and I have nothing more to do but to write a chapter 
on Narragansett fishes — before I proceed to show how 
it came about that my grandfather's never-enough-to- 
be-admired, venerated, and beloved colored cook, Phil- 
lis, came to be the remote cause of the French Revo- 
lution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoi- 

I *69 3 

Twentieth Baking 

NOW that I have got rid of that everlasting Cat 
Story No. 2, before commencing on the fish 
products of old Narragansett, I think it may be well 
that I should answer a note of inquiry from a ' ' young 
Rhode Islander," that came to hand more than twelve 
months ago. It runs thus: 

My dear and never enough to be honored Shepherd Tom: 
I have read your Jonny-Cake articles with a great 
deal of pleasure. I notice in the last that Little Rest 
was once one of the capitals of Rhode Island. Now, 
I have always wondered why so small a State as 
Rhode Island had two capitals, and I once asked an 
old gentleman, a direct descendant of Roger Wil- 
liams, if he could tell me the reason . He told me there 
were five capitals in Rhode Island, and he supposed 
they thought they could get along with two. This is, 
doubtless, correct ; but the question naturally arises, 
why were there five? I think this question would be 
of interest to many, and, therefore, if it would not 
be asking too much, could you not explain the mat- 
ter in some future baking, previous to showing how 
your grandfather's now if never before celebrated col- 
ored cook was the remote cause of the French Revo- 
lution and the death of Louis XVI and Marie An- 

If "young Rhode Islander " will turn to Hon. S. G. 
Arnold's ' ' History of the State of Rhode Island," Vol. 
i, p. 219, he will find that as early as the year 1648, 

C 2 ?o ] 


the General Assembly of Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations were clothed with both legislative and ju- 
dicial powers, which functions were exercised to a 
certain extent by that body for more than two centu- 
ries thereafter. Arnold says : " In their judicial capacity 
they, the General Assembly, were to hear causes in 
the place where the action arose or the criminal was 
arrested, and at such times as were appointed by law. 
Hence, we presume, arose the custom, existing until a 
recent date, of the General Assembly's meeting in the 
different chief towns in the State." 

This may have been the reason why Rhode Island 
used to have so many capitals, but I think there is an- 
other far more cogent. As everybody on this terraqueous 
globe knows, or ought to know, by this time, the stal- 
wart men, who, with Roger Williams, founded Provi- 
dence and Newport with John Clarke, of whom I am 
proud to say Shepherd Tom's ancestor, Thomas Haz- 
ard (whose bones now lie on the west side of the island 
in Portsmouth, a little north of Lawton's Valley), was 
one, and also one of the seventeen original proprietors 
of the island, the first seal of the associate proprietors 
being " Love is all powerful," were the only men that 
have ever existed on the earth since the day that mother 
Eve damned us all by sticking her teeth into the apple 
that grew on the tree of knowledge, that had a proper 
conception of the true democratic principles that lie at 
the foundation of civil and religious liberty. They, our 
worthy ancestors, were one and all fully imbued with 
the truisms which with them became primary maxims, 
that the rights of the many are constantly passing "into 

[ 271 3 


the hands of the few," and that if you "trust men with 
money they will use it, if with power they will abuse 
it." It was to prevent such abuses that our wise and 
considerate forefathers ordained in their polity of gov- 
ernment that the members of the General Assembly 
should be chosen in open town meeting once in every 
six months, a mode of procedure that was in vogue 
since my remembrance ; and further, in order that the 
freemen in all parts of the state should be enabled to 
keep watch of their representatives, and see that they 
stole neither the rights nor money of the people, it was 
ordained in the charter obtained by John Clark and 
others from the rowdy king, Charles II, which, by 
the by, was the best constitution for a real Democratic 
Republican government that was ever devised by the 
wisdom of man, that the General Assembly should 
hold two annual sessions, one at Newport, the capital, 
in May, at 'lection time, and another session in Octo- 
ber, the October session to be holden alternately every 
year in Washington county, at Little Rest, in South 
Kingstown (which at one time was the heaviest tax- 
paying town in Rhode Island), at Grinnage, in Kent 
county, and in the town of Bristol in the county of 
Bristol. It was also ordained that an adjournment of 
the October session should be annually accorded as a 
matter of grace to the village of Providence, which was 
then, as now, the most populous, compact centre in 
Providence county. These provisions were all adopted 
substantially with the state constitution in a conven- 
tion holden in East Grinnage on the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1842, and remained in force until November, 


1854, when the village of Providence, having con- 
siderably increased in population, wealth, and influ- 
ence, managed to wipe out the October sessions by 
getting the constitution amended and made to read as 
follows : 

There shall be but one session of the General As- 
sembly holden annually, commencing on the last 
"Tuesday in May, at Newport, and an adjournment 
"from the same shall be holden annually in Provi- 

It is said that the "Devil's darling vice is pride that 
apes humility." A better illustration of which is not 
probably on record than is to be found in the above 
amendment, in which Providence, in all apparent hu- 
mility, concedes the capital of the state solely to New- 
port, and then steals all the capital's advantages and 
perquisites by a meek, undemonstrative "adjourn- 
ment" of the General Assembly to Providence. By 
the wise provision in the charter, the humblest free- 
man in Rhode Island formerly had an opportunity to 
attend, as a lobby member, a session of the General 
Assembly, and learn by actual observation whether or 
not the member whom he had helped, by his vote, to 
constitute a representative of the freemen of his town, 
was faithful to his trust and deserving of his suffrage 
at the next semi-annual election. In those halcyon 
times the freemen of Rhode Island were the actual sov- 
ereigns of the state, the Governor elect being used only 
as a figure-head (without an iota of power or a copper 
of salary), to show off on 'lection day, and fill, with be- 
coming dignity and repletion, the Rhode Island and 

C 2 73 ] 


Providence Plantations' chair of state. Three hundred 
pounds avoirdupois was about the minimum weight 
of a Rhode Island governor in my younger days. Gov- 
ernor Fenner the 2nd, the most weighty and popular 
governor Rhode Island ever had, I think would much 
exceed those figures. He was probably the heaviest 
native Rhode Islander in the state, all but Silas Bab- 
cock's wife. Silas himself was a gigantic heavy man, 
but lacked some hundreds of coming up to his wife, 
who weighed four hundred and forty-four pounds. 
She always rode a-visiting among the neighbors in an 
ox-cart, which she filled the whole breadth, so that Silas 
had to drive the team on foot. Silas Babcock and his 
wife lived in a very small house on the west side of 
the road in Pint Judy, half a mile south of the only 
turn in the road that is just opposite the Nat Arm- 
strong house. Nat himself was a gigantic man, but 
not so fat as Joseph Congdon, who lived on the road 
about half a mile or more south of Silas' house, who, 
I think, weighed about three hundred and fifty pounds 
on the codfish scales at the Pier, which he owned at 
one time. George Congdon, Joseph Congdon's brother, 
lived about a mile north-east of Silas Babcock, and 
weighed about twenty-five pounds less than Joseph, 
who (Joseph) was one of the first to introduce merino 
sheep into Narragansett, about 1814, from Shelter 
Island, where he owned a farm. As I think I have 
before remarked, my brother Ike once met Joseph and 
George Congdon riding bareback on the same horse. 
One leg of a compass set on a chimney of Silas Bab- 
cock's house would sweep with the other, within a 

C 2 74 ] 


mile radius, a circle that would include all the Bab- 
cocks, Armstrongs, and Congdons that I have men- 
tioned. This may give the Rhode Island pigmies of 
the present day some idea from what a point of per- 
sonal magnitude they have degenerated in two or three 
generations, brought about simply by their living on 
tea, gingerbread, and other nicknacks, instead of on 
milk porridge and jonny-cake, made of Rhode Island 
white corn meal, carefully ground in Rhode Island 
granite mills and cooked a la Phillis, as their fore- 
fathers did. I think Capt. Conner, of the Newport rev- 
enue cutter, weighed more fifty-sixes than Governor 
Fenner. But then he was not a native of Rhode Island, 
and was only fatted on government pap, amidst the 
balmy Gulf Stream breezes that ever blow in New- 
port. It was never necessary to signal to know whether 
Capt. Conner was on board when the cutter lay at an- 
chor in the harbor, for if he was, the heavy tonnaged 
craft would be settled very deep astern. 

Returning from this digression I may say that I 
have seen Governor Fenner the 2nd many times, but 
never without the accompaniment of his long black 
tandem whip, with which he could dexterously snap 
off the head of a mosquito perched on the tip of the 
leader of his tandem team, without either the horse or 
the rest of the mosquito being disturbed by the oper- 
ation. When seated, whether in the chair of state or 
elsewhere, the Governor always held his whip erect 
by his side, with the long lash gracefully wound round 
the stock, which was some eight to ten feet in length. 
The Governor and his long whip seemed inseparable. 

C 2 ?5 3 


They were, in fact, both parts of the Governor, and it 
is doubtful whether his election tours through the state 
before election days would have been half as effective 
in obtaining votes without his whip as they were with 
it. I disremember the exact year when I chanced to 
stop at Daniel E. Updike's tavern in East Greenwich 
a short time before election day. Governor Fenner, as 
usual, was a candidate and sat in Updike's front room 
in a big arm-chair, with his long whip standing erect 
beside him. There was a crowd of freemen present, 
and the Governor called for a quart of New England 
and treated some of his friends. And then came to the 
front one of those master strokes of political genius that 
showed the Governor's consummate knowledge of the 
sublime arts that most influence the masses. Singling 
out in the crowd a simple-looking wooden-legged man, 
by the name of Money, who squatted in the farthest 
corner of the room, Governor Fenner reached out with 
his long whip and gently tapped the dilapidated pau- 
per on the head with the lesser end of his whip staff, 
whilst with its butt end he significantly touched the 
unfinished tankard of rum, thus indicating that it was 
meant for him (Money). Instead of feeling themselves 
slighted by this preference, all others in the room felt 
flattered by the distinction and murmurs were heard 
from scores in the crowd: "Yes! that 's the governor 
for me! He has some charity for the poor cripple!" 
What with the darned temperance societies and the 
common schools of the present day, such magnificent 
strokes of policy would probably have but little or no 
effect on the mass of pedantic bookworms who do most 
of the voting at our town meetings. 

c 276 n * 


Money, the wooden-legged man, was something of 
a character. Besides being crippled, he was quite weak 
in intellect, and was hardly able to get a living with- 
out assistance from his neighbors. One year Money 
planted quite a little patch of corn, which did very 
well for a time ; but finally, the white worms struck 
it, and pretty much devoured the young plants, so that 
at harvest time but little grain was secured. The min- 
ister of one of the Grinnage churches, whose name I 
do not now recollect, called, among others, on Money, 
to sympathize with him on the loss of his crop. Said 
he, "Mr. Money, it is not well for you to take on so 
about the loss of your crop of corn; you should remem- 
ber that the good book says that 'The earth is the 
Lord's and the fullness thereof,' and that He has a 
right to bestow what belongs to Him on whom it pleas- 
eth Him, whether it be men or worms." This did not, 
however, quite satisfy the thankless Money. Next 
year, before harvest time, the minister chanced to call 
to see Money again, and was a little surprised on learn- 
ing that he had not planted any corn at all that year ! 
Upon his asking Money why he had planted no corn, 
Money told him that he had ' ' concluded to let the 
Lord feed his own worms that year." Daniel E. Up- 
dike, who was for several years Rhode Island's State 
Attorney, and afterwards the proprietor of the old 
Arnold Tavern in East Greenwich, was, as I have 
before hinted, decidedly the best story-teller that was 
ever born in Rhode Island or the world at large. My 
brother Ike and I used to make it a point to stop at his 
house overnight on our frequent journeys to Providence 
and Boston on horseback, just to hear him tell anec- 

[ 277 ] 


dotes about the n e : Q : the olden times . man 

was always neatly dressed in black, short, isfc 

;:::;::>. s..k stockings, and silver-buckled shoes, with 
clean, redundant ruined shirt bosom. He always sal 
erect in his arm-chair, whilst not the least indk 
a smile could be perceived on his countenance, though 
a room full of guests and neighbors would be convulsed 
and shouting with laughter at his humorous narratives . 
X;: an mcidenl could be referred to. or a subject 
mooted by any snc present, that die old gendeman 
a true gendeman he was sold not at once seize upon 
and illustrate it with an anecdote. 1 disremember the 
exact evening that I happened bo mention my having 
recently called at a dentist's in Providence: en which 
Mr. Updike commenced, and told how that the first 
dentist that he ever knew to come to Grinnage. stopped 
at his house and put up his card. His first patient was, 
he said, a strapping young woman, who, upon b ig 
shown into the dentist's room, asked what he moid 
charge for cleaning teeth. ' ' I have half a dollar, madam, 
for purifying teeth." said the man of forceps. "Good 
gracious! " said his lady customer, "what 's that?" 
"Purifying means, madam, the cleaning of teeth," 
said the dentist. "Wal," rejoined she. "I guess my 
teeth want scrubbing about as bad as Sal Grinnold's 
or any other gal's in Grinnage: but before 1 give more 
than a pistareen to purify them. I *11 let 'em go till 1 find 
some feller fool enough to marry me without it." Be- 
fore the girl left, the dentist pocketed the pistareen. His 
next customer was a bull-headed teamster from AY est 
Grinnage, with jaws as bis; bv nature as an ox's, and 

: 278 ] 


now swelled to twice the usual size. Being ushered into 
the dentist's room, he growled: "I say, you sur, what 
will you axe for digging out a stump?" "I have," 
timidly replied the artist, "twenty-five cents for ex- 
tracting a tooth." "What in h — 1 is that! "yelled the 
countryman. ' ' Extracting a tooth, sir, means the same 
as pulling a tooth," replied the dentist. "I did n't axe 
you to pull a tooth , ' ' replied the customer. ' ' I ax'd you 
what you ax'd to dig out a stump, which ain't more'n 
half a tooth." Said the dentist, as he flourished in his 
hand the biggest forceps in his chest : " I have just the 
same, sir, for taking out a stump that I do for pull- 
ing a tooth . " " You do, do you ? ' ' snarled the double- 
jawed customer. " Wal, I have n't slept with that 
stump for more'n a week, but I guess I '11 let it jump 
for forty days longer 'fore I '11 give more'n ninepence 
to have it dug out." The dentist asked him to take 
a seat and he would, see what he could, do for him. 
After pulling and hauling his roaring customer for 
some five or ten minutes all around and about the room 
with his forceps, the dentist finally succeeded in ex- 
tracting the stump. "Wal," said the relieved coun- 
tryman, " I 'd meant to gin you ninepence for gitting 
out that there stump, but you have hurt me so tar- 
nally bad that I '11 be swow'd if I gin you more than 
fourpence halfpenny; " when suiting his action to the 
word, he handed the dentist a silver fourpence half- 
penny and departed. 

Not prospering much in East Grinnage, the dentist 
asked Mr. Updike to look him out a cheap conveyance 
to Nooseneck Hill, in West Grinnage, where some 

C 279 3 


wag had recommended him to go in pursuit of cus- 
tom. The only conveyance that presented itself was an 
ox wagon, fitted up with a cage-like contrivance of 
stakes fully ten feet high and less than a foot apart, in 
which a West Grinnager had brought some hundred 
or more empty barrels for the Newport market. Seeing 
no other way to get to his destination, the dentist con- 
cluded to embrace the only opportunity that presented 
for his reaching West Grinnage ; and the barrel-cage 
being brought up to the front door, two of the long 
side-sticks of the cage were removed, and after the 
dentist's chest was placed inside, he himself entered 
and seated himself upon it. The sticks were then again 
replaced, and the team started on its journey. This, 
Mr. Updike said, was the last he ever saw of the Provi- 
dence dentist. But the man who drove the conveyance 
afterwards called at the tavern, and in answer to Mr. 
Updike's inquiries, told him that all along the road to 
Nooseneck Hill, the women and children came out of 
the houses to inquire whereabouts he was going to 
have his show. 

General Albert C. Greene, who was decidedly the 
most popular man that was ever raised in Rhode Island, 
was a frequent evening visitor at Daniel Updike's. He, 
too, was a capital story-teller, but he seldom or never 
attempted to show off in that way in Updike's pres- 
ence, feeling that all he could accomplish in that line 
was less than cake and gingerbread when compared 
with the performances of "mine host." I knew Gen. 
Albert C. Greene, for, I should think, nearly half a 
century. He was a perfect gentleman in all respects, 

C 280 ] 


nor do I ever remember seeing him ruffled in temper 
in a single instance. Up to a late period of his life, Gen. 
Greene was always elected State's Attorney, let what 
party might succeed to power. He was particularly 
fond of telling funny anecdotes, in which he himself 
figured as a butt. I have heard him tell how, on a cer- 
tain occasion, when there were a dozen different proxies 
in the field for state offices, one of his country friends 
called upon him, and with wonder depicted on his coun- 
tenance exclaimed : "General, I have just seen a prox 
for the first time in my life without your name in it ! " 
Another funny story I have heard Gen. Greene tell 
was of a witness in a case before the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, held in East Grinnage, in which Greene 
was attorney. The testimony of this witness, who was a 
small farmer living not many miles away, was exceed- 
ingly damaging to Greene's client. The fact testified 
to occurred in the village, and learning that the wit- 
ness was addicted to drink, Greene essayed to discredit 
the testimony on the ground that the witness was under 
the influence of liquor at the time he saw the occur- 
rences he testified to. So the General began — "Mr. 
Brown, please state to the jury what time you got into 
Grinnage that morning? " " Wal, Squire," answered 
Brown, "I guess not long arter sunrise!" "Where 
did you stop first?" asked the General. "Wal, as 
for that," replied Brown, "I guess I went first to 
Squire H.'s shop." Said Greene, "Did you take 
anything to drink there?" "Oh, yes, Squire," said 
B., "I always wet my whistle when I call at Squire 
H.'s." " And where did you call next ? ' ' said Greene . 

C 281 ] 


"I guess I stopped next, Squire, at Capt. S.'s," re- 
plied the witness. "And did you wet your whistle 
there? " asked Greene. "I guess I did, Squire," said 
Brown; "I don't remember ever stopping at Capt. 
S.'s without tasting his New England." In this way 
the shrewd attorney led the witness for the other side in 
succession to nearly every one of the more than dozen 
grog-shops then in Grinnage, at each of which Brown 
"guessed he had wetted his whistle." Feeling that he 
now had entire possession of the situation, Gen. Greene, 
with an air of triumph depicted on his countenance, 
looked the witness sternly in the face, and said, ' ' Now, 
Mr. Brown, I want you to look the jury in the face, 
and tell them how many gills of rum a man can drink 
of a morning without getting drunk?" This ques- 
tion seemed for a moment to act as a dumbfounder on 
the witness, but quickly recovering, Brown looked his 
exultant questioner blandly in the face as he replied: 
' Wal, as for that, Squire, they have got such a pesky 
way of watering their liquor down in Grinnage, that it 
is hard telling how many drinks it will take to make a 
man drunk. ' ' Upon this turn of affairs the discomfited 
attorney left the court room amidst uproarious peals of 
laughter from the Court, Bar, and Jury. 

Well, now, I think I see the coast entirely clear, 
after telling all about the fish of old-time Narragan- 
sett, to wind up without further ado my Cat Story 
No. 2, and tell my impatient readers how it happened 
that Phillis, my grandfather's superabounding col- 
ored cook, came to be the remote cause of the French 
Revolution and" — Whew — whew — what sort of a 

C S8S ] 


big letter is this just come from the post-office with a 
superscription as long as my arm! Let 's see: 

Shepherd Tom, 

Vaucluse School District No. 1, 
South Portsmouth P. O. 
Town of Portsmouth, 
Island of Rhode Island, 
New Port County, 

State of Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations, 
New England, 
Eastern States, 

United States of America, 
North America, 
Northern Temperate Zone, 
Western Hemisphere, 

Well, well, if that superscription ain't definite enough 
to satisfy Mr. Key, our Postmaster-General, I think 
he must be very hard to suit! Who in the world can 
the letter be from? Let 's see! 

"North Schuate, R. /., March 21. 
' Shepherd Tom: 
Dear Sir, Please find enclosed the History of South 
Kingstown. It will be sent with this note under the 
address you wished ex-Governor Howard to address 
you . Hoping it might help you to tell your ' Cat 
Story No. 2,' we made up our minds to send it to 

"Truly yours, 

"Wm. H. Chandler." 

[ 283 ] 


Well, well, if that don't beat the Devil! (I liked to 
have said). How true it is that "man proposes but 
God disposes." I was just now boasting that I had got 
old Comstock and his cats off my hands, and here they 
have all come back again, and the whole thing is in 
a manner to be gone over again — for I know my read- 
ers would never forgive me without giving them a 
peep into the pages of Comstock's renowned "History 
of South Kingstown," so I shall perforce be obliged 
to an elucidation of this most interesting history, and 
again defer my fish stories to still another baking, 
after which, doubtless, I shall proceed and tell how it 
happened that Phillis, my grandfather's unequaled 
cook, came to be the remote cause of the French Revo- 
lution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie An- 

C 284 3 










By CHARLES COMSTOCK, l. l. d. f. r. s. 




Twenty-jirst Baking 

I HAVE just finished reading the book referred to 
in my last baking. It is entitled ' ' A History of South 
Kingstown, 35 with a particular description of the 
Hornet's Nest Company and the Cats Let Out of 
the Bag, By Charles Comstock, LL.D. F.R.S. New- 
port: Printed for the author, 1806." It is an octavo 
pamphlet of forty pages. The cat inspector is pictured 
on the inside of the front fly leaf. He looks to be of a 
good height and rather thick-set. He is dressed in 
short, nankeen-looking breeches, tied with a ribbon at 
the knee, and dark stockings and shoes. His legs are 
spread considerably apart, thus exhibiting to great 
advantage a pair of fully developed calves. He wears 
a broad-brimmed but jaunty-looking hat. He holds a 
cat by the tail with his left hand, whilst he flourishes 
a branding-iron with his right. Beneath the picture is 
printed in italics, ' ' The Cat Inspector. ' ' To show how 
almost exactly the traditional narrative I have given 
concerning Cat Story No. 2 agrees with what old Com- 
stock himself related more than seventy years ago, I 
will make rather more copious extracts from the His- 
tory than I might otherwise do, beginning with the 
preface, which reads as follows : "As there has not 
been any history given of that town, to my knowledge, 
and as the inhabitants of it are somewhat singular, I 
think it necessary that there should be a history of them 
given, to let the public know what sort of people are in 
the world (for the world lies in wickedness) . And it is 
necessary that the youth should know this fact in their 

r 285 ] 


early stage of life, in order that they may escape the 
snares and cheats in this world, which are made to 
deceive. For this reason I think it necessary to give the 
following history." The author of the history evidently 
does not mean to flatter the people of South Kings- 
town, but still on the very first page he says, "The 
people are free hearted in their victuals and drink ; the 
most so of any part of the world that ever I was in." 
On the second page occur the following excellent moral 
lessons :" It is an easy town to get a living in ; some 
of them get rich ; and I have observed in experience 
so far through life, that where a place is easy to get 
a living in, the morals of the people are apt to be 
corrupted ; for if people are not in some employment, 
they will soon get into vice. For idleness leads people 
to drinking, gaming, and other bad habits, which has 
frequently taken place in South Kingstown ; for those 
who have been rich, have frequently brought up their 
children in idleness and luxury, which has led them 
into bad company and many vices, which have been 
the means of their spending what their parents gave 
them. I believe it is best for parents that are rich or 
poor, to bring up their children strictly in some hon- 
est employment." (Sager counsels than these were 
never given by Solon himself.) "As to their religion," 
continues the author farther on, "part of it is new, 
some of them are nothingarians, some of them Uni- 
versalists, a few of them Friends, and some of them 
are Baptists, but most of them are nothingarians." 
Page 9th, ' ' Many of them think themselves very cun- 
ning when they have cheated one another ; for their 
art and craft is to cheat every one that they can. After 


they have cheated another by deceiving or lying, they 
frequently boast of it, and say they have out-cunninged 
the person that they dealt with ; that they told him a 
lie, and made him believe it was truth — for they glory 
in their shame ; we read of some men glorying in their 
shame. They are not often ashamed, unless they have 
taken one another's word, and have been cheated by 
believing each other. . . . Some of them will call a man 
a fool if he stands to his word, if it was against his 
interest; for he might have got off by telling the man 
he made the bargain with, that he was in jest. This 
way of treating mankind they think very cunning." 
(The author evidently squints in the last sentence at 
his cat trade.) Again page 10th, "Many of them are 
poor pay; and it is very hard to collect any money 
from many of them, for one of them had been indebted 
to me for some time, and I found that it was hard to 
get the pay from him ; I bought something of him, so 
that I became indebted to him ; and soon after I be- 
came in debt to him, we settled, and I gave him a note 
on demand with his promise that he would not sue me, 
and he sued me in less than one hour after I gave him 
the note; for that is part of their craft." (At page 17, 
Cat Story No. 2 begins to develop itself thus : ) " There 
is a little village in this town where the court-house 
stands, called Little Rest. Some people call it ' Rest- 
less Hill.' I think it resembles a hornet's nest, for the 
people are some like hornets." (For brevity's sake I 
must here pass by much interesting matter.) "I think 
it proper to describe something of the hornet's nest 
religion. Some call them nothingarians. That sort of 
religion puts me in mind of what a man said about 

C 28 ? 3 


his religion, that he thanked God that he had no reli- 
gion. Having given a small description of their religion, 
I shall endeavor to describe their wit, which I shall 
call hornet's nest cunning, which is as follows : There 

is one * , who lives at the hornet's nest, and is at 

the head of that sort of people of that village, and its 
vicinity. One of the hornet's nest company told me 

that* , who is a very fat man, fatted on lies. The 

above said * told me that he had broke up people 

from getting drunk at the hornet's nest; for his prac- 
tice was to pour water in their sleeves, and that had 
broke up their getting drunk there. That, I believe, has 
been practiced frequently to strangers; and boasted 

of by above said * . It is frequently the case when 

men are at the hill that they are very much imposed 
upon by that hornet's nest company ; sometimes men 
that are old, and sometimes young ; for men in the 
country are not so well versed in lying as that com- 
pany." Page 22, "The hornet's nest company are 
very fond of office ; are often proud of it ; if it is a con- 
stable' s office, for they are fond of being where liquor 
is passing about freely. It is generally the case that 
men that are proud of an office, are not fit for it. This 

* being witty, and very lazy, and very fond of 

office, and a deputy sheriff and an auctioneer in the 
town where he lives, and supporting his family by his 

offices, he and C put their heads together. C 

wanted to have the title of a Colonel, and * wanted 

to contrive to get another office. They contrived a plan 

to have a cat trade that C might bear the title of 

Colonel, and * , whose wit and genius run very 

much in cats (for he had a very enterprising ingenu 
C 288 ]' 


in cats, and wanted it to be discovered to the public), 
bethought himself that he would contrive a cat trade ; 
and that if his knowledge in cats could be known to 
the public, he might obtain the honor of the office of a 
cat inspector-general. And being very witty to obtain 

his ends, he agrees with C that he should be a 

cat merchant and himself a cat purchaser, in hopes 
that this would introduce a cat traffic. In order to 
obtain their ends, they set out to execute their plan to 
obtain their offices, or to get the title to them ; for the 
name of an office, in such people's view, is a great thing 

with them. I being at Joseph Reynolds', and C 

being a stranger to me, C came in and sat down 

in the room, it being in the evening. By and by * 

came in with a calico gown on ; and when he came 

in C took him by the hand and said, How do you 

do, Mr. * ? And * said to me, Mr. Comstock, 

this is Mr. Cook, of New London, and * said to 

Mr. Cook, This is Mr. Comstock ; he lives in the great 
house that was formerly John Potter's and* , know- 
ing that I wanted to purchase a quantity of butter to 
carry to Nantucket, asked Cook what was the price of 

butter at New London? Cook said eleven cents. * 

asked him if he could furnish Mr. Comstock with 
a quantity of butter? Cook said he could furnish him 
with three or four thousand weight, with having a few 
days' notice, as he kept a large store at New London. 
I told Cook that I should want it on a credit of sixty 

days; and told him that Comstock was an honest 

man, and there was no doubt but that he would pay 

him honestly. And I told Cook that I would take one 

thousand weight first, and when I made the remit- 

I 289 ] 


tances, I would take two thousand weight more ; and 
we agreed. After we agreed about the butter, Cook 
asked me if I knew where he could purchase a quan- 
tity of mules. I told him that Connecticut was the place 
for mules; for we did not raise but a few in this State. 
Cook said they were all bought up in Connecticut and 

shipped off. * asked him what he would give a 

head for mules? He said if they were likely ones, he 

would give sixty dollars ahead for them. Then * 

tucked my elbow, and asked me to go aside with him ; 
and when we were aside together, he told me that Syl- 
vester Hazard had two mules , that were very likely ones, 
and he wanted to sell them, and I could buy them 
on* a long credit. And as I was much embarrassed (for 

* held two executions against me returnable in 

about ten days), and said that Cook was very anxious 
to get the mules, for he had come there with two bags 
of money; and said further that he thought he would 
give seventy dollars rather than not get them, for he 
offered sixty dollars ; and said that I might get through 
with raising the money without straitening me, and 
make money by the bargain ; and further that Sylves- 
ter Hazard was at young James Helme's, and that I 
had better go down there and see him and talk with 
him about it. Accordingly I went; and when I went 
into the house I asked if Sylvester Hazard was there. 
The answer was that he had gone home. In about two 

minutes * and and a number of young men 

that lived at the hornet's nest, came in ; and when they 
came in inquired for Sylvester Hazard ; and the an- 
swer was that he had gone home. * said he must 

see him that night or early next morning ; * said 

C 290 ] 


to me that I had better go and see Sylvester Hazard 
that night for would go there that night or very- 
early the next morning. * asked Cook if he would 

give seventy dollars for likely mules. Cook said that 
he would not give but sixty dollars a head for them, 

if they were ever so likely. * asked Cook if he 

wanted to buy any jacks. Cook said he did not. # 

told him that the cats were destroyed in two of the 
West India islands; and that he had better carry 
some cats along with his mules, for they would fetch 
a great price. Cook said that he intended to carry a 

quantity of cats with his mules. * agreed with 

him to furnish him two hundred cats at seventy-five 
cents apiece; and he entered into writings; and I and 

two more men were joined with * in partnership. 

And when Cook was writing the agreement, he wrote 
it to have twenty cats that night, and if twenty could 
be procured that night, he would take two hundred 
at seventy -five cents apiece. I told Gardiner it was too 
late to get any cats that night. Gardiner said that I 
and George Douglass could go to Squire French's, for 
he had got six or seven cats. I told him that he would 
be abed, and Gardiner said that I could call at his 
window and he would get up. Gardiner said further 
that he had got five or six cats, and that he and his 
partner would go to his own home and get them, and 
meet us at the coffee house, and that we could furnish 
the cats in half an hour. I told Gardiner that I would 
not call anybody up to buy cats ; accordingly I and 
Douglass went to Squire French's, and he was abed, 
and Douglass asked me to call him up, and I told him 
that I should not call him up, and Douglass called him 

[291 ^ 


up himself, and when he got up, Douglass told him 
that he wanted to purchase some cats, and asked him 
if he had got any, he said he had got seven. I told him 
that I was agoing to bring some pigs next week to sell, 
and that I would pay him in pig pork for the cats if 
he and I could agree, and I asked him what he would 
take a head for his cats, and he said three pounds of 
pork for one pound of cat, and I told him that I thought 
pig pork was worth as much a pound as cat meat, and 
I should not give that price, and while we were talk- 
ing about it, Gardiner and his partner came up and 
told me that I must not stand, for Cook had a notion 
of flying off from the agreement. I told Gardiner to go 
away, for that was not the way to purchase anything 
to show so much anxiety. Gardiner went aside and I 
agreed with French to give him three pounds of pig's 
pork apiece for his cats, and when we went to look for 
the cats, French found but two, and Gardiner said 
that Colonel Cook was at Joseph Reynolds', for they 
were abed at Barker's, and, accordingly, they went to 
Reynolds', and Reynolds and his wife were abed, and 
Cook took the cats, and said they were likely ones, and 
handed the money to Gardiner. Reynolds said that he 
had got some cats, and said that his daughter might 
sell them, for he was willing to take pig pork for them, 
and his daughter went and looked up the cats, and 
brought two, and Cook took them also, and the girl 
went up chamber and found the old cat, as they called 
her, and she had six kittens, and Cook said he must 
have four kittens in lieu of one cat, and we agreed and 
he paid the money to Gardiner, for we were all part- 
ners together, and I told Cook that I had agreed with 


French for five more cats, and that I would give him 
an order for them, and he said he would take it, and 
Gardiner said that he had been to James Helme's, and 
that he had got eight cats, and he would take pig pork 
also, and said further that Elisha Potter had seven, and 
he would take pig pork likewise, and that Barber had 
five, and he would take pig pork likewise, and the 
order was written, and I signed them, and after we 
had got through, Gardiner openly declared that he had 
received all the money for all the cats, and for all the 
orders that Mr. Comstock had turned in, and he had 
received twenty dollars for Mr. Comstock, and Cook 
said that he had agreed with Lunt to go on to New 
London and carry two hundred cats, and that he had 
bought a cow, to give milk to feed them, and that 
he wanted twenty delivered to Peter Boss' next day 
by ten o'clock in the forenoon, and said if I would 
deliver them, he would pay one dollar extra, for deliv- 
ering them to Boss'." (I will just say here in paren- 
thesis, that Major Lunt, who lived for many years at 
Little Rest, where there is a monument over his re- 
mains, was General George Washington's barber 
throughout the Revolutionary War. Peter Boss' tav- 
ern used to stand on the site of the "young" John 
Dockray's house before referred to, on the Matoonek 
road, just south of the corner made by the Little Rest 
road. — Shepherd Tom.) "And it was agreed upon by 
the cat company that I was to wake up George Doug- 
lass" (who was the cousin of the great Stephen Doug- 
lass — Ibid.) " early the next morning, and I awakened 
him accordingly, and he and I went to Gardiner's and 
roused him up also, and he and his partner was to go 

C 293 ] 


one way, and I and my partner to go another way, 
and accordingly we went to Sylvester Hazard's to get 
his mules, and we could not buy them so that it would 
answer, and Douglass said that he knew where we 
could buy some cats, and we went and bought two for 
six cents apiece, and then went to Doctor Aldrich's 
and he gave us one cat, and then we went to the hill, 
and there was a man at the hill that said he had some, 
and I went with him, it being about onehundred yards, 
and got two more, and I returned back to the hill. In 
the meantime the people that had got cats they wanted 
to part with, had brought them to the above Reynolds' 
and shut them up in a closet, about sixteen in all; and 
the time of day was nearly come that I was to deliver 
them at Peter Boss', and Sylvester Robinson came and 
told me that it was all a joke, and James Helme told 
me also that it was a joke, and that the man that Elisha 
R. Gardiner had recommended to be Colonel Cook, of 
New London, was Cook, the hatter; that they lived on 
the hill, and I told them that I had got the cats, and 
that I intended to deliver them according to my agree- 
ment, and that I intended that Cook should pay for 
them, or I intended to sue him. 

' 'Afterwards I found out that he lived within the jail 
bounds, and that he was learning French's son the hat- 
ter's trade, and that suing him was like the old say- 
ing, ' Sue a beggar and catch a louse.' I knew nothing 
of his being so poor at the time I was carrying the cats 
to Boss' and I called for the time of day, and they said 
it was almost ten o'clock, and I waited about one hour, 
and I asked Boss for a room to put the cats in , and asked 
him if he would furnish Cook with the rest of the cats in 

C 294 3 


case Cook should come for them, and he said he would 
furnish the rest in case that he came, but he would not 
let me have a room to put the cats in : he thought it 
best for me to carry the cats and deliver them to Cook, 
and let him know that I had fulfilled my part of the 
contract, and it would stand clear to bring an action 
against Cook. And as I was returning to the hill I met 
Elisha R. Gardiner and James Helme, Jr., and Elisha 
R. Gardiner said that I had better take the cats off 
the mare and he would inspect them, and see if they 
were merchantable, and I took the cats off and he took 
them out of the bag one by one, and inspected them, 
but did not brand them under the tail, for he had no 
branding-iron, but he got the title of a cat inspector- 
general, and he viewed their eyes and I believe in- 
spected them faithfully, and I don't think they can get 
a better cat inspector in the whole State; so he got the 
title of the office, and I think he is likely to retain it, 
for his judgment is, I believe, very good in cats. I sup- 
pose that it is necessary to see whether their eyesight 
is good, that I believe he is very careful about, for when 
he inspected the above said cats, he found two that he 
said could not see out of their eyes, for he said that 
there were but twelve merchantable cats, for there were 
two that could not see, so that I am confident that his 
judgment is very good in cats ; whether his judgment 
will be so good in bitches I cannot tell, but I think it is 
likely to be good, for his abilities lies very much in cats 
and bitches, and filling pipes with powder and tobacco 
- — he is gifted in that sort of business. 

The place where the cat inspector let out the cats 
was right against Adam Gould's house. I believe the 

C 295 ] 


hornet's nest company have reported abundance of lies 
about the business, for they reported that Adam Gould 
had predicted that the new lights turned into cats, and 
when the cats went into his house, he said they were 
new lights turned into cats, according to his prediction: 
and that company said he went to preaching to them, 
and afterwards they reported that they turned into 
hogs, and that Gould had fourteen hogs, for when the 
inspector inspected them he said there was twelve mer- 
chantable cats, and there were two he said that could 
not see out of their eyes. The cat inspector said further 
that he had turned in forty cats to Colonel Cook, that 
he had not got his pay for, and he intended to sue him. 
This Elisha R. Gardiner is very fond of office, for he 
has been laying a plan in order to get another office, 
and I think he is likely to obtain it, if he gets his brand- 
ing-iron, and comes over to Newport and brands the 
cats when he is requested to, for cats will not sell in the 
town of Newport unless they are inspected and branded 
with the letters 'E. R. G.,' under their tails as cat 
inspector, for they will not buy them unless they are 
actually branded by the hornet's nest inspector; I am 
willing to assist him all I can that he may obtain it, 
and to forward the business I shall place him on a sign 
with a cat under his left arm and a branding-iron in 
his right hand placed against her tail, I think will be 
my part towards making a great man of him." 

On the thirty-sixth and last page of the History is 
a petition to the General Assembly to incorporate the 

Hornet's Nest Company, ' ' and also an original poetic 
effusion, which runs thus: 

C 296 ] 


A New Catechism 
More studied than an older and a better one. 
" What is the chief end of man ? 

To gather up riches, to cheat all he can, 

To flatter the rich, the poor to despise, 

To pamper the fool, the humble, the wise; 

The rich to assist, to do all in his power 

To kick the unfortunate still a peg lower; 

To cry up fair freedom, defend it with vigor, 

Have slaves without number, and use them with rigor, 

To deal fairly with all men where riches attend them, 

To grind down the poor where there 's none to defend them, 

To seduce the fair virgin to accept his embrace, 

To cast on her then all the shame and disgrace, 

To be angel without and devil within, 

To pretend to all virtue and practice all sin — 

This is most men's chief end, or their actions belie them, 

And if you don't believe it, you may e'en go and try them." 

I think I may now confidently promise my readers that 
Cat Story No. 2 is forever disposed of and finished, and 
that after dwelling some little while on the promised 
fish question, I shall be ready to show how it was that 
Phillis, my grandfather's redoubtable colored cook, 
came to be "the remote cause of the French Revolu- 
tion, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoi- 

(I must, however, stop the press just here, just to 
say in parenthesis that the mention of the name of 
Phillis, my grandfather's superlative baker of jonny- 
cakes and other good things, brings to my mind the 
final exit of Mrs. Babcock, mentioned in my last 
baking. She went out of the house one morning to 
help her husband pry out a rock of some ten tons heft, 


with a big long white oak lever, for which work nature 
had peculiarly adapted her, weighing as she did 444 
pounds avoirdupois. So soon as the rock was rolled out 
of the hole, Mrs. Babcock hastened in to her kitchen 
fire, to turn her jonny-cake on the board, which she 
was just in the act of tossing topsy-turvy in the air, 
after separating it from the board with her case-knife, 
and again catching it a la Phillis on the board as it fell, 
when she ruptured a blood vessel, or some other in- 
ternal organ, and instantly died in glory, Math the half- 
baked jonny-cake, made of white Rhode Island corn, 
slowly and finely ground in a granite stone mill, yet in 
her hands.) 

Again, I may here just say that Mr. L. D.Anthony, 
of Providence, informs me that Governor Fenner used 
to attend the old First Baptist Church, which he al- 
ways entered from Benefit street, and walked up the 
broad aisle, carrying his eight-foot stock black whip 
erect by his side until he reached his big square pew 
near the pulpit, where he set his whip up exactly in 
a perpendicular in one corner. 

Lawyer Ned Hazard, the first two syllables of whose 
name belong to Providence Plantations, as before 
hinted in these papers, and the last three syllables to 
the old John Bigelow Dockray house west of Sugar 
Loaf Hill, in South Kingstown, also tells me that Hon. 
Elisha R. Potter and Gov. Arthur Fenner were once 
weighed at a grocery on Market Square, near his then 
office, and their separate weights marked in the shop 
with chalk (I think), one weighing 320 and odd 
pounds, and the other 340 and odd pounds, but which 
was the weightiest he cannot exactly remember, but 

C 2 9 8 H 


thinks it was Squire Potter, who, of course, being 
raised in the South County, was heavier in proportion 
to his avoirdupois pound weight than Governor Fen- 
ner, who only grew up in Providence county. 

C 2 99 1 

Twenty-second Baking 

NOW that I have got through with that everlast- 
ing Cat Story No. 2, together with the wonder- 
ful history it gave rise to, I feel, as the saying is, like 
a newly live-picked goose, in other words, as light as 
a feather, and will proceed without further ado to dis- 
cuss the fishes of Narragansett, and relate then how it 
came to pass that Phillis, my grandfather's thrice su- 
pereminent colored cook, came to be the remote cause 
of the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette. The first time I ever remember 
going fishing was in 1802, after bottom fish in Mrs. 
Dyer's run, a little south of Tower Hill, where I went 
to school to Robert Noyes. It was between schools, and 
although I rolled up my breeches clean above my knees, 
I somehow or other managed to get them so wet that 
when I went into school Master Noyes made me take 

[ 300 ] 


them off and hang them up to dry on old Miss Nichols' 
clothes-line in the back yard, where Jim Case was at 
work in his grandfather's garden just over the other 
side of the wall. (Old Squire Case, I will just say here 
in parenthesis, was a particular friend of Doctor Ben 
Franklin, who used always to tarry a night at the 
Squire' s house on Tower Hill, when taking his usual an- 
nual trips on horseback by the Old Post Road to and 
from Philadelphia.) I can on'y just remember when 
Christopher Raymond Perry, father of Commodore 
Oliver Hazard Perry, lived for a while in the old Squire 
Case house, that stood on the south side of the Tower 
Hill road leading to the South Ferry, the farthest east 
of any house in the village. My brother Ike remem- 
bered going toNoyes' school with the Commodore, but 
I don't so exactly as he. Now Jim Case had a grudge 
agin me, and no sooner did he see me hang my check- 
ered linen breeches on Miss Nichols' clothes-line and 
go back to be laughed at by all the gals in the school, 
than he whipped over the wall and snatched my breeches 
off of Miss Nichols' clothes-line and hid them under 
a great spreading red gooseberry bush in the further 
corner of his grandmother's garden. So after school 
was out, not being able to find my breeches, I had to 
go all the way home bare-legged — and worse and 
higher up than that! But if I go on to tell all about my 
fishing exploits, the Journal would never find a thou- 
sandth part the room to print them. Suffice to say, my 
nick-name at Bristol on the Delaware in Penn., where 
I lived a while when a boy, was "the fisherman," on 
account of my wonderful skill in the old Isaak Walton 
sublime art. (I may just say here, in parenthesis, that 
[ 301 ] 


somehow I was always addicted to nick-names. One 
of the first I remember to have had was "Lusana," 
because when I was at ' ' Friends Westtown Boarding 
School," in West Chester county, Pennsylvania, in tell- 
ing in geography school about old Tom Jefferson's new 
purchase of Louisiana, I pronounced the name as in- 
dicated above. This sobriquet held on to me for some 
time, until in taking lessons in botany I entered into 
a long dissertation regarding the Tulip Tree or Amer- 
ican Poplar, and essayed to show off my extraordinary 
learning by uniformly referring to the tree by its Latin 
name, " ' Liiiodendron tulipijera, which ( Tulipifera), in 
consequence, became my nick-name with the boys for 
some months; and until one evening in geography 
school, when the examining committee was present, 
I showed off by repeating more than forty pages of 
Pizarro's Conquest of Peru, and spread the wings of 
my eagle very wide, when I pronounced the following 
passage, which I then thought was the finest in the 
English language : ' ' The martial music at once struck 
up, the cannon and muskets began to fire, the horse sal- 
lied out fiercely to the charge, and the infantry rushed 
on sword in hand; " which splendid sample of rhetoric 
I remember to this day just as well as when I pro- 
nounced it, feeling myself bigger at the time than old 
Grant or any other hero of modern or ancient times. 
From that time the nick-name of ' ' Pizarro ' ' stuck to 
me until I left school. Before I was much over twenty 
years old, I kept sometimes from one thousand to 
twelve hundred sheep, which caused me to be called 
Shepherd Tom, ' ' to distinguish me from some dozen 
other Toms in the family.) 

[ 302 ] 


To return, I may say I am certain that good fishing 
cannot be altogether acquired by either art or experi- 
ence. It comes like Dogberry's learning, "by natur." 
When I was a stripling, I could catch pretty plenty 
when everybody else said there weren't any there! To 
illustrate : When a boy, I once went down to the end 
of Barton's wharf on the "Point" in Newport. There 
were more than twenty boys fishing there for grunters. 
There was a huge ship's cable (for Newport had ships 
in those days) coiled up on the wharf, leaving a vacuum 
in the middle of some four feet across and nearly as high . 
This was filled heaping full with grunters ; not another 
fish of any kind had been cotched there that Saturday 
afternoon. The water was clear as crystal down to the 
top of the long eel grass on the bottom, and I could 
see every baited hook as plain as if I held it in my 
hand. Every now and then a grunter would start out 
of the eel grass below and get hooked. I had no pole 
and line with me, and I asked little Willie Wiseman 
to let me take his just for a minute. I had hardly closed 
my hands on the pole, when a monstrous big blue-fish 
(called sea-bass in New York) came right through all 
the baited hooks on one side, while a big eel darted 
toward my bait from the other side. The blue-fish was 
a little too quick for the eel, who turned and scud away 
right through where a dozen baits were hanging, with- 
out a nibble at either. I hooked the blue-fish and carried 
him up the wharf dangling on my line, all the boys 
following. When I got home Abe brought out the 
steelyards, and we weighed the fish, and found that 
it just turned on the eight-pound notch. That is what 
is called luck by most folks, but I say it is more than 

[ 303 J 


that, but what, I confess I do not know. Spiritualists 
call it, I think, animal magnetism. 

Speaking of that born son of the Devil, Abe, I re- 
member my father took him and me in a canoe one 
day, down to the ' ' harbor's mouth, ' ' in Narrow river, 
which is about a mile north of Narragansett Pier, 
a-fishing. My father hooked a big fish, but he broke 
away from his line. Said my father to Abe: "That 
tautog, Abram, would weigh ten pounds !" Said Abe : 
"Pretty hard telling, Master Rowland, how the steel- 
yards will turn when the fish is under water ! ' ' Said 
my father : "Thou art a saucy boy, Abram, take up 
the keelig [anchor], and paddle home! "To tell the 
truth, I am almost afraid to tell all about the fish of 
old Narragansett, lest I should raise a doubt in some 
of my more skeptical readers' minds about my entire 
veracity. Sol think I will just copy from a letter I re- 
ceived more'n six months ago from my brother Joseph, 
who has visited nearly every country and coast in the 
world, and besides that, owns "Sea Side," called by 
the summer visitors, "Hazard's Castle," situated just 
south of Narragansett Pier, directly opposite the best 
fishing-ground in Rhode Island, the world inclusive. 
Says he : "As late as 1845, I reco'lect that Stephen A. 
Chase and myself caught 101 black-fish (tautog) on 
my shore, at Sea Side, on one afternoon. I used to see 
striped bass by the hundred in the breakers in the 
autumn, some of them very large. I have seen people at 
the north pier wading in the dock and pitching out 
flounders by the hundreds with a pitchfork, as they 
would hay in the field at mowing time. Menhaden 
(bony fish) were sold at twelve cents and less, a bar- 

l 304 ] 


rel, for manuring land, and thousands of barrels were 
sometimes landed at a haul on the beach, north of the 
Pier. Farmers used to come to the Pier from towns bor- 
dering on the Connecticut line, in the autumn, to catch 
codfish for their winter's supply, and go back with as 
many as they Avould need for many months to come, 
all caught in one day with hook and line. I have known 
two farmers to take a boat at the south pier and go 
about the quarter of a mile from shore, and come back 
before night with over a ton of codfish to salt for their 
winter's use. Some seasons in October, I have seen the 
shore lined with fishing boats and smacks, some coming 
long distances. I remember seeing Captain Williams, 
that most original, honest, interesting old fisherman 
(a regular Norseman , one might readily imagine) , come 
ashore one Sunday morning at about 11 o'clock, at the 
Pier, with three halibut in his boat, aggregating from 
six to seven hundred pounds weight. I remember see- 
ing our nephew Rowland, when he was a boy, land 
at the Pier with one hundred and twenty-two horse 
mackerel he had just caught along the shore between 
the Pier and Point Judith." I will here remark that 
there was never a real good horse mackerel (called blue- 
fish by some) eaten in New York or Philadelphia, for 
the reason that to be eaten in perfection this fish must be 
put on the gridiron within five minutes 36 at the farthest, 
from its flipping. Phillis, my grandfather's pattern col- 
ored cook, used to say she never did nor never could 
broil a horse mackerel for anybody, not even a nig, 
unless it was brought to her alive and flipping, for if 
there was anything on airth she 'spised, it was a dead 
horse mackerel. It used to make my mouth water to 

C 305 ] 


see Aunty Phillis broil a fresh horse mackerel on her 
big gridiron over a great pile of ivannut wood coals, 
nor would she allow a mite of butter to come near it 
whilst broiling, but that of the sweetest, richest quality, 
made from the cream of yellow-skinned, bug-horn 
cows, for as she used to say, if there was any one thing 
on airth she 'spised, it was bad butter, 'specially for 
cooking. What Phillis would say of oleomargarine I 
can only guess at. As soon as her mackerel was done, 
Phillis always made Margaret take it at once to the 
table, and set it before the gret-room folks smoking 
hot ; nor would she permit my grandfather to remove 
it from the gridiron only just so fast as he served it to 
the family. When I was a small boy, I can't tell how 
many times I have seen Phillis standing in the door- 
way between the kitchen and the gret-room, so as to see 
that grandfather did not take the horse mackerel off the 
gridiron, and put it on a miserable half-warmed platter 
before it was helped. Talk about your English turbot 
and what not, they will not in the least compare with 
one of Phillis' fresh broiled horse mackerel. (I may just 
say here in an inside parenthesis, that I used to hear 
when a boy that "Point Judith point" was so called 
because it was first discovered by an old negro woman 
named Judith on board ship in a fog. The captain 
could not see the land with his spy-glass, and so he said 
to the old darky to point out the direction in which she 
saw it. Said he, "Point, Judy, point," and so when 
the captain saw it he put it down on his chart by. that 
name, which has since been converted into "Point 
Judith," or "Pint Judy." Per contra, my brother 
Joseph tells me that Josiah Quincy, of Boston, during 

C 306 j ' 


whose mayoralty the Cochituate water was introduced 
into the city and the great reservoir built near the capi- 
tal, once told him that Point Judith was named after 
a relation of his, "Judith Quincy,"who married a 
Mr. Hull and went at a very early date to live on 
Point Judith.) But this is neither here nor there, about 
the fishes of Narragansett, so I will return to my 
brother's letter. "On cool autumn mornings, Jona- 
than N. Hazard (who then lived at Narragansett Pier) 
used to walk along the beach and pick up scores of 
fish that had got grounded by the breakers during the 
night whilst in pursuit of the little sprats they subsist 
upon, which lured them to the strand where they per- 
ished. They were chiefly Tom Cod or frost fish (young 
codfish). Capital river crabs were also often found 
among them. " ( I will just say here in parenthesis, that 
speaking of grounded codfish brings to my mind an 
incident I used to hear related ^vhen I was a boy. John 
Robinson, a son of Governor Wm. Robinson and half- 
brother of Shepherd Tom's grandmother, built the first 
pier on the shore of his farm, where the famous water- 
ing-place now stands. At that time an extensive trade 
was carried on from Newport and Bristol with Guinea 
on the coast of Africa, the outward bound cargoes being 
chiefly rum, and the inward, negro slaves, taken in 
exchange. Since my memory, still-houses, to furnish 
the outward-bound cargoes of rum, were quite plenty 
in Newport, and the ruins of the barracoons that were 
used to stow away the inward-bound cargoes of negroes 
until they could be sold to the plantations both South 
and North, were also visible. A good many of the poor 
slaves used to die in the crowded holds of the slave- 

C 307 1 


ships, whose corpses were regularly thrown overboard 
every morning or oftener. This caused the ship to be 
followed from the coast of Africa by huge sharks, na- 
tives to these regions, called man-eaters, because they 
came to be more fond of human flesh than any other 
kind of food, owing probably to its having been their 
principal nutriment from infancy. Whilst the carpen- 
ters were framing the woodwork of the pier, Mr. Rob- 
inson's son Sylvester went swimming way out beyond 
the breakers. His father, chancing to look that way, 
saw a great man-eater in the distance, some twelve feet 
in length, making his way rapidly towards his little 
boy. With great presence of mind he called to Sylves- 
ter, and told him he would give him a Spanish silver 
dollar if he would swim to where he stood within two 
minutes by his watch. Boys of that day did not, as 
now, find silver dollars growing on every bush, and, 
of course, Syl was very desirous to get the one prom- 
ised by his father. So he struck out for the shore with 
might and main, the monstrous man-eater also quick- 
ening his speed as he drew nearer, and the scent of his 
destined prey became stronger in his nostrils. There 
had been no arrival of slave-ships for more than a week, 
and so hungry and ravenous was the man-eater that 
he seemed to have forgot himself in his eager pursuit 
of the boy, who had not been fully snatched from the 
water by his father before the shark turned himself on 
one side, and with open mouth, made a lightning dart 
at Syl, and grounded high upon the strand, when the 
carpenters dispatched him with their broad-axes.) 

You remember, ' ' continues my brother Joe, ' ' Old 
Christopher Robinson's account of the great hauls of 
[ 308 1 


striped bass they used to make late in autumn and the 
winter in the Salt pond, when he was young, weighing 
all the way from three pounds to forty and fifty pounds 
and even more; one hundred and seventy-eight thou- 
sand at one haul on his father's shore near the old 
corn -mill (now Wakefield), and ninety-five thousand 
at another. These bass they used to pile up on the ad- 
joining meadow, and people came with carts from far 
and near (even from Puritan Massachusetts and Pres- 
byterian Connecticut) . Christopher used to tell us how, 
in his early manhood, he used to pitch these bass just 
as they came into the wagons at a copper apiece," 
or about two for a cent of our present currency. Now 
they sometimes sell striped bass, the king fish of the 
world, in Newport market, as high as thirty cents a 
pound ! Only think what glorious times our ancestors 
must have reveled in, when they could have two bass, 
weighing fifty pounds each, for little more than a 
nickel, that now sell for thirty dollars, or 3000 nickels! 
I may here say that the day preceding the great fire 
in New York in 1835 (that consumed more than half 
the business portion of the city) was as warm as a half- 
heated baker's oven, while the night of the fire that fol- 
lowed Avas the coldest that had been known for years, 
in fact, so cold that the water froze solid in the hose of 
the fire engines. On that warm day the bass had entered 
the breach that leads to the sea at the southern extrem- 
ity of the Salt pond, in countless myriads, and the wind 
being southerly and both weather and water unusually 
warm, the immense school of fish stopped overnight 
near the surface of the water, doubtless meaning to 
settle down into their deep winter quarters the next 

C 309 ] 


day. But early in the night the wind suddenly chopped 
round to the north-west and brought with it such an 
unheard-of low temperature that the lake was converted 
almost in an instant into a sheet of ice some foot and 
more in thickness, holding in its embrace nearly all of 
the striped bass that had entered the pond on the day 
before. A day or two after this I went down upon the 
pond and saw scores upon scores of men cutting out 
the bass with chopping axes. They had already piled 
up hundreds of thousands to all appearance in heaps 
as big as small hay-stacks. The whole surface of the 
lake looked like a huge piece of Mosaic thickly inlaid 
with frozen bass weighing two or three to twenty or 
more pounds each. New York and other markets were 
bountifully supplied with the finest fish from this source 
for weeks afterwards. Potter's pond, which lies on the 
south-western side of the Salt pond, on what was for- 
merly the old Governor John Potter estate, is connected 
with the great Salt pond by a narrow strait. In the old 
Governor's day, he used to surround with nets millions 
of bass in the early winter before severe frost set in and 
haul them up to this narrow strait, when what with the 
force of the nets and the whooping and hurrahing of 
his host of negroes, the bass would be forced into the 
Potter pond heaping high. The Governor used then to 
stake up the narrow strait and so have the fish fast in 
a comparatively narrow compass, from whence he took 
them out with small nets through the winter just so fast 
as a market could be found for them. (I may just say 
here in an inside parenthesis, that it used to be thought 
that Governor John Potter was as skilful in fishing for 
the votes of Rhode Island freemen as he was for striped 

C 310 3 


bass. There lived not far from him, in the town of Rich- 
mond, an oldish man of a good deal of influence by the 
name of Wm. Barber, usually called "Urn Barber," 
because he was very much addicted to using the word 
"um." Um Barber was one of the last survivors of 
the old fox-hunting ilk, that, as well as horse racing, 
was in the olden times a favorite sport with the Narra- 
gansetters, some of them having packs of fox hounds. 
In my early days a race course was in tolerable preser- 
vation on the old Kit Champlin farm in Charlestown. 
It so happened that Um Barber had a personal antip- 
athy to Governor John Potter, and always opposed him 
in politics and at the polls with all his might. A hotly 
contested election was near at hand, in which Potter 
was candidate for Governor, wherein it was of the 
greatest importance that "Um Barber" should not 
oppose, even if he did not support him. How to reach 
"Um" was a difficult question. The Governor, how- 
ever, proved equal to the occasion. He got up a fox 
chase, and invited Um Barber to become his guest for 
a day or two previous to the coming off of a hunt. 
Um ' ' was so passionately fond of the sport that he 
could not resist the temptation, and accepted the Gov- 
ernor's invitation, but with the firm resolve that it 
should not influence his vote in the coming election. 
The Governor plied his guest with many attentions, 
and when the hunt came off, insisted upon Urn's being 
his especial companion in the chase. During the run, 
Potter was observed to take frequent libations from a 
black bottle he had in charge (filled with sweetened 
water), until by degrees he apparently became so boozy 
that some of his near friends thought it best to ride 
C 311 ] 


by his side to prevent his falling from his horse. To all 
these, however, he turned the cold shoulder, and in- 
sisted that none but his friend ' ' Um Barber ' ' should 
attend him. Flattered by the preference, Um was always 
on the watch to support the Governor, lurch which 
way he would. After a while the maudlin candidate 
became confidential with Um, and disclosed several 
(apparent) secrets of his political party, asking his 
advice in regard to them. This was too much for 
the unsophisticated fox-hunter, who, on election day, 
brought with him a score of his friends, one and all of 
whom cast their votes for Governor John Potter, and 
he was elected by a bare majority, that Urn's and his 
friends' votes might have changed. Um Barber and 
Governor John Potter ever after continued firm per- 
sonal and political friends until separated by death.) 
Since my memory, striped bass used to be not only 
a great deal more numerous than now in our Rhode 
Island waters, but bigger, frequently weighing from 
seventy to seventy-five pounds. John Cork 37 bore the 
name of being the greatest drunkard and the luckiest 
fisherman in all Narragansett, and through a long life 
followed both callings and no other. I disremember the 
exact time when I happened to be fishing for tautog on 
what is called the Flat rock, a mile south of the Pier. 
I think it may, however, have been in the month of 
November, the best season for shooting loons, for I 
recollect an English gentleman, attended by his Irish 
servant, stood a little way from me when he brought 
down with his long fowling-piece an extraordinary 
large fat loon, as it was winging its way southerly 
over our heads. The huge bird fell with a heavy thud 
[ 312 1 


on the rock. Said his Irish servant : ' ' Your honor might 
have saved your powder and shot, for shure such a fall 
as that would have killed the bird of itself ! ' ' On that 
occasion, John Cork caught two bass, the lesser one of 
which would weigh fully sixty pounds. John was, of 
course, on foot, and more than half drunk at that. He 
had just strung his two bass together Math a four-folded 
fishing-line, preparatory to putting them on his shoul- 
ders to carry up to Christopher Robinson's and thence 
to my father's, who, he well knew, would each take a 
head and shoulder (the best part of a striped bass by 
a long shot) and thus lighten his load so as to enable 
him to get to Watson's shop, a mile farther on, where 
he would exchange the remainder of the biggest fish 
for rum, and take the other home, unless a chance 
customer should intervene, in which case his wife and 
children would have to wait for their share until next 
time or later. I was just about helping John to put his 
head through the ring made by the four-folded line, 
when Squire Kenyon came along on horseback on his 
way to Little Rest, and offered to take his fish as far 
as Watson's shop, provided he would give him the 
head and shoulders of the smallest one. John told him 
he would see him "d — d first." So Squire Kenyon 
hitched his horse to a bayberry bush and threw off his 
line for tautog. I helped John load his bass, and after 
draining his bottle, he proceeded on his way, until he 
chanced to stumble head-foremost into a stone hole on 
the Stephen Champlin farm, on the west end of which 
farm tradition says a young girl was murdered, just 
after Point Judith was settled, and her body carried 
nearly a mile by her ravisher and thrown off the Flat 

C 313 n 


rock into the sea. About an hour after, Squire Ken- 
yon, catching no luck, mounted his horse and pro- 
ceeded on his way, which led just by the big stone hole 
in which John still lay, with the four-folded line twisted 
about his neck and both the big fish on top of him. 
Kenyon again renewed his offer to help Cork out and 
take the two bass to Watson's shop or any distance 
short of it, for the head and shoulders of the smallest 
fish. John managed to squirm his head in a position 
that enabled him to bring his left eye to bear upon 
Kenyon's countenance, as with a stifled voice he ejacu- 
lated, "You be d — d." So Kenyon passed on, whilst 
John Cork kept pretty quiet until he sobered, and Tom 
Aaron, the Indian, came along and helped him out of 
the hole, and again started him on with one bass in 
front and the other on his back. I disremember the day 
when I chanced to be seated at Peace Dale, within 
hearing distance of a number of boys and men who 
were arguing whether or not Smith Lewis was a man 
or a boy. All but Jim Grennold said that Smith was 
a boy. The question was argued vehemently for some 
time, until Jim Grennold exclaimed with much energy : 
You say that Smith Lewis is nothing but a boy ; I 
say, he is a man ! At any rate heehaws tobacco. ' ' Upon 
this convincing announcement, all the negative con- 
testants gave in. The next question discussed was in 
reference to the successful and unsuccessful men in 
South Kingstown. After many examples of failures 
and some of success had been cited, John Cork put in 
his say: "Well, I started in the world with nothing, 
and have near about held my own. If any man here 
has done better than that, let him tell how he did it ! " 

[ 314 ] 


I think it not improbable but that there may be some 
ignoramuses in Providence and Kent counties where 
there is but little or nothing known about salt-water 
fish, who may feel disposed to question the accuracy 
of some of the fish stories I have related. However this 
may be, I can honestly assure all the readers of the 
Journal and the rest of the world that if what I have 
heard be true, all that I have stated about the abun- 
dance of fish that used to abound in Narragansett less 
than a century ago, is but as cakes and gingerbread 
in comparison with the quantities that used to abound 
there in a preceding century. I have heard that prince 
of traditionists, Daniel E. Updike, of East Grinnage, 
say that in his father's or grandfather's day, that such 
countless shoals of striped bass used to come up thePet- 
taquamscutt (or Narrow) river to winter in the beau- 
tiful ponds at the head of tide-water, that people were 
said to pass over the river on the backs of the solid 
mass without wetting their feet. I disremember the time 
when Capt. Bill Wilson told me that his father worked 
for Col. Gardiner on Boston Neck, when he gave a 
great ball that was attended by many distinguished 
persons from Boston, Newport, and New York (Provi- 
dence being nowhere in those days), on which occa- 
sion two of the Misses Brown, of Tower Hill, set out on 
horseback to attend the ball, but when they came to the 
fording-place in Narrow river, a little above Carter's 
gibbet (who killed Jackson), it was packed so full of 
striped bass that (their horses being smooth shod), they 
were forced to dismount and pass over afoot on the 
backs of the fishes that were jammed in such a solid 
mass as to be unable to move individually in any direc- 

C 315 ] 


tion, except as the entire mass was carried along by the 
tide. Capt. Wilson said that Col. Gardiner had a six- 
pounder mounted on a hill near the house, with which 
he saluted his guests as they arrived, and that on the 
arrival of the Misses Brown, he ordered his nigger 
gunner to make a double discharge of the piece in their 
honor, because they had evinced such pluck in cross- 
ing the river on the slippery backs of the fishes. I may 
here diverge in a compound parenthesis, to say that I 
knew old Capt. Bill Wilson well. He was a pretty good 
day laborer if set to work alone, but if there were three 
or four or more men with him, they would not all do 
the work of one man, their time being taken up almost 
entirely by laughing at Capt. Bill's drolleries. He was 
a natural wit, who was never seen to smile himself, 
and yet he could not open his mouth without mak- 
ing others laugh ready to kill. When I first knew him, 
he kept bachelor's hall in a one-roomed cabin west of 
Tower Hill. All the cooking and table utensils he had 
in his house was an iron two-quart kettle, two pewter 
spoons, one pewter plate, and a half-gallon jug. He lived 
entirely on hasty pudding and molasses, making his 
own pudding, and I have heard him say that he never 
cleaned out his kettle until the crust became so thick 
upon its bottom and sides that it would not hold enough 
pudding for one meal. Then and not until then he 
scraped out his kettle, but never washed it, because as 
he said it would take out its sweetness. After a while 
the Captain married ; but matrimony never agreed 
with him. His wife took to drink, and on one occasion, 
when in mid-winter she took the panes of glass out of 
the only bed-room window and sold them for rum, he 
C 316 ] 


complained of her conduct to me. Said the Captain, 
' ' If my mouth was wide enough to reach from pole 
to pole, and my tongue as deep in my throat as the 
ocean, I could never tell what trouble that woman has 
given me! " Shepherd Tom was the first manufac- 
turer in the United States who ever worked a pound of 
Buenos Ayres wool (or Mediterranean either), which 
first-named article was then always as chock-full of 
burrs as a fig is of seeds. Before suitable pickers were 
invented, all these burrs used to go into the cloth, 
which cloth, after being run through a boiling dye, I 
have seen look quite green in a prolonged rain-storm 
on the tenter bars, owing to the sprouting of the burrs. 
Captain Bill once bought some of this cloth before it 
was colored to make him a pair of shirts. Said he, in 
speaking of it to me some time afterwards : " I thought 
the stuff would make me a couple of warm winter 
shirts, in spite of the burrs, but I found that the wind 
would whistle through it just like a thorn hedge." 

I was really in hopes of doing the fish of Narragan- 
sett in one baking, but I find I shall have to trespass 
on another turn of the jonny-cake before I explain how 
it came to pass that Phillis, my grandfather's most 
worthy and world -renowned colored cook, came to be 
the remote cause of the French Revolution, and the 
death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. 

C 317 H 

Twenty-third Baking 

I NOW mean to finish up the Narragansett fish in 
a jiffy, and then go right ahead and tell my impa- 
tient readers all about how Phillis, my grandfather's 
half-heaven and half-Guinea born colored cook came to 
be the remote cause of the French Revolution, and the 
death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. So here 
goes! But before beginning, I will just say, in paren- 
thesis, that the Tom Aaron who acted the part of a 
Christian in helping John Cork (in my last baking) out 
of the big stone hole and starting him on his way re- 
joicing, was a full-blooded Indian of the old Narra- 
gansett tribe, who lived in the west end of an old house 
that used to stand on my brother Joseph's Sea Side 
farm. George Ammon, a half-blood Indian, lived in the 
eastern part of the same house. Tom was old enough to 
be entitled to a pension for service in the Revolutionary 
War, provided he had served his country therein, and 
so one day, taking George Ammon along with him for 
his sponsor, he proceeded on foot to Providence to lay 
his claims before Uncle Sam's commissioner. Said the 
commissioner, "All right, Mr. Aaron, but where is your 
proof of having served your country in its extremity?" 
Said Aaron, pointing to George, ' ' Here is a fellow that 
knows all about how I sarved in the war." George 
Ammon was accordingly asked to put his hands on the 
Bible and take the oath, after which he swore,.right 
hand and left, that he was ' ' sartin Tom sarved in the 
war." The commissioner, observing that Ammon did 
not look more than half of Tom's age, asked him how 
[ 318 ] 


he knew that Aaron served in the War of Independ- 
ence ? " Why , " said George, ' ' Tom told me so him- 
self. ' ' Tom Aaron and George Ammon were both great 
fishermen, and during the War of 1812 they used fre- 
quently to come to my father's to ask for newspapers 
to carry with them when they went fishing off Point 
Judith in a boat, to give as a peace-offering to the offi- 
cers of the British war brig ' ' Orpheus, ' ' which block- 
aded Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound during 
most of the war. On one occasion I told Tom that we 
had none but very old papers! "Never mind," said 
he, "I '11 just tell the Britishers that I can't read and 
that you composed upon the poor Injun." Speaking 
of the British war brig "Orpheus" brings to my re- 
membrance her running on shore the ship ' ' Wham- 
poa," just by John Watson's Pier in Boston Neck. 
The " Whampoa " was loaded with brandy and other 
French goods, and the best of Cognac was very plenty 
in the neighborhood for years after that event, whilst 
almost every country lass sported French fans and 
ribbons. The first news I had of the catastrophe was 
from Silas Greenman's wife, whom I found one morn- 
ing crying whilst she was running bullets for her 
husband to take with him down to Boston Neck to 
help expel the perfidious foe. As I may have said be- 
fore, I came from England in 1839 in the steamship 
"Liverpool," commanded by Captain Frayer, who 
was a Lieutenant on the "Orpheus," and seemed to 
be more familiar with the Narragansett coast than I 
was. As soon as he learned that I came from that for- 
mer charming summer abode of the gods, his heart 
warmed to me as a brother, and it really seemed as if 

C 319 ] 


he could not do enough to make my voyage pleasant. 
He told me that he had command of one of the boats 
that pursued the " Whampoa," and that he would 
give a guinea to see an old Quaker that was plowing 
on the shore a little north of where the " Whampoa" 
lay, who, so far as he could discern, never once turned 
his head to look at the Flotilla, that was raining can- 
non-balls like hail in his direction, but kept on making 
furrows with his yoke of oxen all the same as he would 
have done had all been peace and quietness. I have 
since learned that the old Quaker, as Capt. Frayer 
erroneously termed him, was no other than Governor 
George Brown's foreman farmer, the late John Perry, 
father of Robinson Perry, and five other highly re- 
spected sons, now living in South Kingstown (John, 
the Town Clerk, among others), and cousin to Com- 
modore Oliver H. Perry, who (the Commodore), on 
a somewhat similar occasion, showed a like disregard 
to British cannon whilst he was passing in an open 
boat, somewhere on Lake Erie, from his own burn- 
ing ship to another, to lead her on to victory. I want 
all readers to understand that Commodore Oliver Haz- 
ard Perry was a genuine Narragansett boy from the 
crown of his head to the tip of his big toe ! I knew 
Governor George Brown pretty well. He was a capi- 
tal specimen of the courtly Narragansett gentlemen of 
the olden time, very tall, as straight as an arrow, and 
always superbly dressed when he went abroad, up to 
his dying day, at the age of ninety-two. Once upon 
a time, when party ran high, my father was a can- 
didate for State Senator from South Kingstown, and 
was elected. In the height of voting at Little Rest, 
[ 320 ] 


when nearly every freeman in the town was present, 
S. Northup, a drunken freeholder, on presenting his 
ballot exclaimed, at the top of his voice, ' ' I want every 
man here to know that I vote for Rowland Hazard in 
spite of a man who lives on Boston Neck, who wants 
me to scratch him off the prox, the three first letters 
of whose name is Governor George Brown." 

To return to the fishes of Narragansett, my brother 
Joseph further writes : ' ' Do you remember the Lam- 
phear who sold his old homestead in Charlestown to a 
Mr. Foster, and forgot to reserve his family graveyard? 
A bitter feud afterwards sprung up between Lamphear 
and Foster. In the course of time Lamphear died, and 
his friends, knowing Foster's implacable temper, de- 
cided it would be useless to apply to him for permission 
to lay his remains beside his father's in the family burial 
ground, and began to make preparations for burying 
them elsewhere. One of Lamphear's friends, however, 
determined to see Foster on the subject, and was sur- 
prised to find that he gave his consent to have Lam- 
phear's defunct body buried on his ground, not only 
willingly but cheerfully. This was a great surprise to 
all who knew Foster, and remained a mystery until 
some months afterward, when some neighbor queried 
with Foster to know why he so readily gave his consent 
on that occasion. ' ' Oh, ' ' said Foster, ' ' never fear but I 
will find land for as many Lamphears as anybody will 
find to bury ! ' ' Says my brother Joe, ' ' Classic ground 
is the valley of the Pettaquamscutt and its surround- 
ing ridges. What a treasure to-day would be a full 
history of it. Whally, the regicide, Gilbert Stuart, and 
the Minturns all lived in its upper regions. The un- 
Z 321 ] 


fortunate Hannah Robinson's father's farm Mas also 
bounded by it on the west, and also Francis Willet's, 
2nd mayor of New York." 1 may just here be allowed 
to say, with becoming modesty, that the pathetic story 
of the unfortunate Hannah Robinson has been writ- 
ten by Shepherd Tom and published in a superb vol- 
ume, :!S by John II. Sanborn, o( the Newport Mcrcari/, 
which all readers of faultless taste and cultivated genius 
and feeling- cannot fail to perceive is the most thrill- 
ing, entertaining, soul-subduing, and instructive book 
that has been issued by the press, either in America 
or Europe. My brother Joseph continues: "You know 
of the three famous Irish school-masters in Narragan- 
sett, of the olden time, all high-bred gentlemen. Mas- 
ters Kelly, Ridge, and Slauter, neither of whom were 
ever known to commit an ungentlemanly act, or swerve 
from the strictest rules of polite breeding. It used to 
be told that Master Kelly once happened to stop at a 
tavern where they gave him nothing but cold Indian 
dumplings for dinner. In referring to the dinner after- 
wards, Master Kelly said he had eaten a better and 
seen a worse dinner. Then there was Master Gano, as 
late as 1820-30, another Irish gentleman school-mas- 
ter, who would never stop to talk with anybody. He 
was supposed to be a political renegade; though he 
would give no account oi' himself, he sometimes spoke 
of his club in Dublin." 

1 may here say that James Robinson first engaged 
Mr. Gano to come to Narragansett as tutor to his chil- 
dren. He first kept his school in a small building near 
the entrance gate of Mr. Robinson's farm, now theGov, 
Sprague estate. 1 remember taking tea in company 


with Gano on one occasion only at Mr. Robinson's. 
He was very polite, but taciturn. There was a dish of 
whortleberries on the table, which Gano declined being 
helped to, although several times pressed. Finally Mrs. 
Robinson asked him if he had ever eaten any whor- 
tleberries? Gano replied that he had never eaten but 
one, which made him sick! I have elsewhere related 
an anecdote how Rowland Brown once, by preconcert- 
ure with his friends, tested Master Slauter's proverbial 
politeness. It was an occasion of a fox hunt, when, 
after a hard day's chase, the party returned to Mr. 
Brown's palatial mansion on Tower Hill, tired almost 
to death, hungry as the devil. The table was quickly 
spread, but nothing but a huge Indian bran pudding 
appeared on it. Mr. Brown helped Master Slauter to a 
goodly portion with repeated apologies for the extreme 
meagreness of the fare, to all of which the old gentle- 
man replied," Very good, Mr. Brown, very good," 
suiting the action to his word by occasionally convey- 
ing a morsel to his mouth. After the experiment had 
been fully tested without Master Slauter indicating by 
word or look any disapprobation, Mr. Brown ordered 
a couple of splendid roast turkeys and fixings to be 
brought in, to which he bountifully helped his Irish 
guest, who, after taking a mouthful, turned urbanely to 
his host and remarked, "A very great addition to the 
supper, Mr. Brown." 

"You will recollect," continues my brother Joe, 

that tradition says that all Point Judith used to be 

kept clear of forest by the Indians so that they might 

drive the game down there and kill it on the points of 

rocks or in the water to which deer habitually flee when 

C 323 ] 


pursued. All the old houses in Point Judith were framed 
of heavy white pine timber that was cut in the north 
and west part of the town. When the Champlin house 
on our sister's farm in Point Judith was taken down, 
a few years ago, the white pine sills, plates, and posts 
from 12 to 18 inches square, were as sound as when 
put in position a century and more ago. I may here 
say that the old heavy timbered Rowland Brown two- 
story house, more than one hundred feet in length, was 
first built more than a mile north of the village, -where 
it lately stood, and was moved bodily over the uneven, 
hilly, and rocky fields to its new site ; a piece of en- 
gineering that would be almost marvelous even in our 
day. This was done, it is said, because Mr. Brown 
felt lonely in his isolated situation." 

Again I extract from my brother Joe's voluminous 
letter: "Of a later generation was Thomas B. Haz- 
ard, 'Nailer Tom,' who lived in a white pine, heavily 
framed house, in what is now Peace Dale, that was 
taken down not long since. This was an old ' Niles 
House,' and it is said that Capt. Kidd and his crew 
used, not unfrequently, to resort there, and were en- 
tertained by Mr. Niles, for days together, he finding 
his account in furnishing a place in the wilderness 
where the pirates might enjoy their wild reveling, such 
excitement as freebooters and all men of evil habits of 
life need and must have, if possible. Kidd and his com- 
panions used to land, as tradition said, where the South 
Pier now stands ; that was always a natural slip formed 
by an outlying bar, and where small boats could land 
at almost any time. Thomas B. Hazard told me that 
in the field adjoining his house a piece of sword-belt 

C 324 ] 


was plowed up, that he had seen, marked ' Artemus 
Gould,' and with a couple of lines of amorous verse. 
Thomas B. also told me that he once possessed a his- 
tory of some of Kidd's cruises, in which the names of 
his crews were recorded, and that among them was the 
name of 'Artemus Ward,' a cognomen, probably, for 
Gould. He said the book had been stolen from him." 
And yet let me here say that with all this convincing 
testimony within its reach, the Journal of the 23d of 
September has the temerity to question whether the 
redoubtable pirate, Robert Kidd, or William, if you 
please, ever buried a dollar of treasure anywhere in 
Rhode Island, or anywhere else. I knew Thomas B. 
Hazard, "Nailer Tom," like a book. He was one of 
the most remarkable personages I was ever acquainted 
with : a man who could relate entertaining anecdotes 
three hours on every evening of the year, and then 
begin with an entire new set for the whole of the next 
year. They were generally of an illustrative character, 
like the following: Some neighbor happening to remark 
that now-a-days all the evils of the country seemed to 
be charged on Old Jackson, the then President, Nailer 
Tom said it made him think of an old, harmless man 
named Grennold, who lived in Newport, when he was 
a boy, whose name almost everybody associated, with- 
out knowing why, with any evil that happened to be- 
fall him. If, said he, a man chanced to lose a button off 
his breeches, it was "Damn Old Grennold. ' ' If another 
happened to stub his toe, it was "Damn Old Gren- 
nold, ' ' and so on to the end of the chapter of accidents. 
"Now," said Nailer Tom, "instead of damning Old 
Grennold, everybody damns Old Jackson, and with as 

[ 325 ] 


little reason in the one case as in the other." Nailer 
Tom served his seven years' apprenticeship at black- 
smithing, in Newport, with a man named Dodge, I 
think, who did a good deal of ship work, sometimes 
by the job, at others by the pound. Dodge's shop was 
near Gravelly Point. When he was engaged in job 
work, the question would be sometimes asked, "Mr. 
Dodge, ain't you making that work rather light?" 
The reply would be : " Nobody can tell the strength of 
iron." When, on the other hand, he would be doing 
the ship work by the pound, the question would be 
asked, "Mr. Dodge, ain't you making that work very 
heavy?" The reply would be: "Nobody can tell the 
power of the wind and the waves. ' ' My brother Joseph 
continues: "Capt. John H. Saunders lived on Boston 
Neck, and there built a three-masted schooner of about 
seventy-five tons, the first I ever saw or heard of, and 
Narragansett people wondered Avhat he meant by such 
an adventure. But these are to-day a most popular class 
of vessels, some of them being of 900 tons burden. I 
saw one a few days ago of 632 tons discharging a 
cargo of bones at Plymouth, here in England, that she 
had brought from Buenos Ayres, owned in Fall River, 
Mass. It is a current fact 39 that the first power looms 
ever used were started at Peace Dale, where at the 
same time there was only a carding-shop and a flax- 
seed oil mill." 

I will here remark that I ought to know these facts 
pretty well, for by turns I tended with my own hands 
all three of the concerns my brother Joe mentions. 
Thomas R. Williams, of Newport, invented the looms, 
and started the first one in our oil mill. My father next 

C 326 ] 


bought four looms of Williams, and I run them on web- 
bing and saddle girthing in the carding-shop. I have 
woven more than one hundred yards a day on one of 
these looms. The matter has been discussed, and, I 
think, settled, with Providence county folks, that these 
were the first power looms ever started in America, say 
somewhere about 1814 or 1815, in spite of the Lyman 
claim or others. At that time nearly every farmer in 
the state raised flax for family use, and we could pro- 
cure enough flax-seed in Rhode Island to run the mill ; 
now there is probably not a bushel raised in the whole 
state. We used to give one dollar a bushel for flax- 
seed, and sell the oil for one dollar a gallon. I wish all 
the readers of the Journal, who need a hearty laugh for 
their health, could have been present once and seen 
the face of a boy from Yorker (Yawgoo), 40 which lies 
north of Kingston village, whilst I measured him out 
a gallon of linseed oil. Everybody ought to know that 
oil and water won't mix. The oil in the cask had got 
so low that it would only trickle out of the spile, so to 
help it along I would every now and then pour a little 
water into the bung-hole of the cask. The boy said 
nary a word, but such a look as he steadily regarded 
me with, as he saw me, as he supposed, filling his jug 
with oil and water, nobody but Hogarth could put on 
canvas or paper, either in oil, water, or ink. 

My father began to manufacture linsey-woolsey s 
about the year 1797, at which time he got the cotton 
in the seed from Charleston, S. C. It came in "pock- 
ets" of some seven pounds weight. The seeds were 
picked out by hand, the cotton was then carded with 
hand cards, spun on hand wheels, and woven on hand 

[ 327 ] 


looms ; the wool used for the filling of the linsey was 
carded, spun, and woven in the same way. When I 
began to manufacture at Peace Dale in about 1814- 
15, my wool was carded into rolls by machines. It was 
then put out in bundles of some twenty -five to thirty 
pounds each over half of Washington county to be spun 
on hand wheels, then brought home, scoured and col- 
ored and again put out to families living from one to 
ten miles away, as before, to be woven on hand looms. 
All this was done on horseback for eight or ten years, 
there being no four-wheeled carriages or wagons, ex- 
cept Elisha R. Potter's carriage, in the county. How 
many millions of miles I have ridden through mud- 
ice-rain-snow and storm whilst engaged in that busi- 
ness, to say nothing of sunshine, I can't tell, and if I 
could, it would not be believed. Sometimes to get the 
yarn from one bundle of rolls in the hands of a delin- 
quent spinner, I would take a journey on horseback 
perhaps a dozen times, at a distance to and fro of as 
many miles, and so again with the weaving. As Cap- 
tain Bill Wilson has said elsewhere, " If I had a mouth 
that would reach from pole to pole, and a tongue 
as deep in my throat as the ocean, I could never tell 
the trouble" I used to have with delinquent spinners 
and weaving women in Narragansett. Some time ago 
I stood by a stripling in one of the Peace Dale mills, 
who was tending two spinning jennies, when I esti- 
mated that he turned off as much yarn in one day as 
seven hundred women used to spin for me in the same 
time on hand wheels. 

But whoa, whoa ! I say ! if I was to go on and give 
a consecutive narrative of my manufacturing experi- 
I 328 ] 


ences in detail, let alone my farming and sheep keeping, 
all the Journals that were ever printed would not con- 
tain the half of them! The fact was, I knew nothing 
about manufacturing or machinery myself, and there 
was then nobody in the country to learn of, and all my 
experiences were purchased at the expense of the hard- 
est kind of knocks. The first overseer of my factory, a 
Mr. Larkin, I have known to fasten the crooked belt to 
a stripper pulley with a tenpenny nail driven to its head 
to keep it from running off, or as he expressed it, that 
he might ' ' know where to find the darned thing. ' ' My 
second overseer was a Quaker by the name of Warner, 
who I set to tending the cards one morning, and then 
went fishing for trout in the brook about ten feet from 
the south end of the carding-shop. I hadn't been there 
long before I heard a violent crash in the shop window, 
and then was splashed from head to foot by a great 
thing falling in the water not a yard from my feet, 
which, on closer inspection, I found to be the fancy cyl- 
inder of my finishing card. I hastened into the carding- 
shop, where I found the floor strewn with card strip- 
pers, chain rollers, &c. , in dire confusion. Warner was 
looking round about as if to find something, and on 
my asking what it was, he said he by accident dropped 
his felt hat between the in forward stripper and fore 
tumbler of the pesky machine, but as he could not find 
it, he guessed it must have got kearded up. So with- 
out more ado he commenced picking up the broken 
pieces and putting them in place, and on lifting the 
fancy box he found his broad-brimmed hat beneath it, 
which looked as if it might have been in the posses- 
sion of a couple of frolicsome young bears or more for 

[ 329 ] 


an hour or two. My next head overseer was a professed 
scientist from Providence county. He was a perfect 
"know-all." His first move was to take from the 
carding machines all the workers or "chain rollers," 
as they were then called, and set the fore tumbler and 
doff an inch or less off from the main cylinder. This, 
he said, kept the rolls from knotting. It did in a meas- 
ure, but the wool was so little worked by the card that 
the Foul Fiend himself could not make it into yarn of 
any less size than the roll itself. I soon sent Alexander, 
that was the name of the scientist, back to Provi- 
dence — and put up posters for another overseer of my 
woolen-room, which consisted of one single breaker, 
a finisher, and a picker, the teeth of which last were 
made of spikes six inches in length and mor'n an inch 
in diameter, firmly set in a four-inch timbered slotted 
cylinder, some three feet in diameter and four feet in 
length, that whisked round in a still heavier frame, full 
of teeth of the same size as those in the cylinder. The 
wool in those days was apt to be very cotted , and when 
I put that kind into the rising and falling feed-box, 
some half a pound at once, and raised it up so as to 
bring and keep the unpicked wool in contact with the 
teeth of the picker, I always kept a bright look-out be- 
cause I had known the chair on which I sat in front 
knocked all to smash by the flying teeth and broken 
timbers of the devilish thing, just as I had sprung from 
it with all the velocity terror could inspire. About noon 
one pleasant summer day a gentleman by the name of 
Dickens presented himself in striped tow-cloth jacket 
and breeches and offered his services as a professional 
wool-carder. Said I, "Mr. Dickens, are you pretty 
C 330 ] 


well acquainted with the process of carding wool ? ' ' 
"Process!" said he, "what 's that?" Said I, "Do you 
know how to card wool? " " I guess, ' ' said he, ' ' I mout 
ought to know, for I used to help granny keard wool 
before I was knee-high to a hoppergrass ! ' ' Just at this 
moment I threw the main belt on my breaking card. 
The expression of the boy's countenance whilst I was 
watering the oil, as before described, would not, in all 
its multitudinous aspects, in the least compare with 
the mingled look of surprise, consternation, horror, and 
terror that now pervaded the features of Mr. Dickens. 
Turning his awestruck eyes first to the driving drum 
over his head, next to the whirling carding machine, 
and lastly on me, he gave a yell and then a spring for 
the open door, out of which he shot like a winged 
arrow. My curiosity was awakened by this rapid tran- 
sit, and I hastened to the nearest window. Dickens had, 
by the time I got there, reached a five and a half foot 
single wall that stood about twenty rods from the fac- 
tory, over which he flew without touching a stone, and 
held his way on in a bee line for the pier, looking as 
he went more like a streak of lightning than anything 
on legs. I afterwards learned that when Dickens 
reached the pier, he jumped frantically into his boat, 
and in an incredible short time rowed to the island, 
where he spread a report that ' ' Shepherd Tom ' ' had 
got the infarnal machine over there in 'Gansett that 
they blowed up Bonaparte with; and yet under all these 
difficult and trying circumstances, and thousands more 
like them, and even worse than they, Pioneer Shepherd 
To?n, after paying every debt, succeeded in realizing 
a competency in about his 40th year, and then retired 

C 331 ] 


entirely from active business, and has ever since then 
diligently labored without a farthing's pecuniary pay, 
or hope or wish for reward, for the good of mankind 
at large, according to the best light God and His 
angels have bestowed upon him, and ever expects to 
continue so to work, not only throughout all time, but 
eternity. Nor does he seek or wish a better or a happier 
lot either here or hereafter than that which results from 
doing unselfish good. "God save the State of Rhode 
Island and Providence Plantations," and all the rest 
of the world, man, beast, bird, fish, and reptile in- 

"In those days," continues my brother Joe, "the 
mass of the laboring class in Narragansett, though 
often given to drink, were honest, and generally took 
pride in doing a good day's work, so as to fairly earn 
their wages, which were from six to eight dollars a 
month and board for the eight warm months. Manual 
day labor was almost always paid in kind, that is, half 
a bushel of corn or four pounds of salt pork and board 
for a day's work from sunrise to sunset. For mowing 
the price was double. The laboring people were mostly 
idle in the winter, but supported themselves by chor- 
ing, clamming, and fishing, and now and then a day's 
work for the farmers. They always made it a point of 
honor to keep out of the poor-house or "off the town," 
as they expressed it, nor would they permit a near 
relative to be placed there if any of the family could 
support them. 

"Churches, there were next to none, and there was 
very little avarice among the laborers — a few of whom 
occasionally attended the Quaker and ' new lighf meet- 
C 332 ] 


ings. There were a few thieves, but they were marked 
men; if anything was stolen, it would be generally 
known pretty nearly who did it. Bill Carter was the 
thief who robbed Asa Steadman of his pork while he 
lay abed confined by the rheumatism. Asa was poor — 
so he sent for Bill and asked him if he did not think 
a man must be very bad to rob one so poor and help- 
less as himself of his winter's provision. To this Car- 
ter gravely replied : ' Mr. Steadman, it is my opinion 
that anybody that is bad enough to steal is no respecter 
of persons.' 

' ' I think it was old John Smith whom you caught 
stealing your wood, and who replied to your rebuke, 
that he ' always thought it was rulable in Narragan- 
sett for a man to have wood for cutting and back- 
ing it.' 

"I think it was Jonathan N. Hazard who missed 
his axe, and on meeting black Jim Tefft (a noted thief, 
whom he suspected) , asked him when he was going to 
bring back the axe he stole from him. Jim seemed hor- 
rified at the charge and defended himself stoutly. Jona- 
than expressed surprise at Jim's alleged innocence, 
and remarked that he could not think of any one else 
who would steal it ! But Jim got in the last word when 
he rejoined, 'Mr. Hazard, you may depend upon it, 
there is a great deal stole around here on my credit ! ' 
In those days doors of houses in Narragansett were 
seldom locked at night. My gold watch, costing $160, 
lay for years on a table by my chamber window on 
the ground floor, almost always, night and day, for I 
seldom wore it except when I went on a journey, and 
the window was almost always open, and people pass- 

C 333 ] 


ing by continually, but it was never disturbed. This 
was at a period when there was no church in Narra- 
gansett, except one at Kingston. Now we have nearly 
a dozen churches, and a door-mat is scarcely safe on 
the step at night. Even hen roosts must be locked, and 
thieving is everywhere and burglary frequent. Rum- 
shops are viler than ever, poor-houses are crowded, 
whilst some of the inmates have friends who could eas- 
ily support them, but avarice has been awakened to 
a degree, of late, that it is scarcely less dangerous or 
wicked in its influence than midnight robbery itself. 
' You must remember old Gardiner Ken yon, who lived 
on Point Judith and died at the age of ninety. He had 
been in bed some days with illness, when, on hearing 
his wife direct a daughter to send for a doctor, he cried 
out, 'Wife, don't bring any doctor into my room: I 
have concluded to die a natural death.' 

"I consider the Sweets a most remarkable family, 
not only as natural bone-setters, but as an innocent, 
inoffensive, easy-going, happy people, with no particu- 
lar calling or occupation; yet never victims of poverty, 
or even rich enough to excite avarice, excepting in 
one instance, and he a farmer. 

' The Tuckers of Narragansett are also a very re- 
markable family. Not enterprising, but steady work- 
ers, farmers on a small scale, generally. Steady, indus- 
trious, self-reliant, thoughtful, with fixed principles, 
and, as a rule, highly conscientious, full of moral cour- 
age, as well as physical, and so devoted to principles 
that I have no doubt a regiment of them, fighting in 
a cause that they espoused from principle (and they 
would willingly fight for no other), would whip any 

C 334 ] 


two merely military regiments that could be brought 
against them from any part of the world. 

' ' I presume you have not forgotten that remarkable 
man, Hazard Knowles, of Conanicut, nor his idiotic 
son, who, when his father once broke through the ice, 
called to his son to help him out, which he declined 
doing, saying, "I see that farm coming to me now 
[by inheritance, of course] ." 

I may here say that I knew the Hazard Knowles 
my brother alludes to pretty well. He was the wealthi- 
est farmer in his day in Conanicut, if not in the state. 
He was the father of several highly respected and effi- 
cient sons, besides the idiotic one, whom I have heard 
the old man say was fit for nothing but a "member 
of Congress." I was once hastening on foot across the 
island of Conanicut, to take the steamboat for New 
York, and much feared that I should be too late, when 
I saw this idiotic son of Hazard Knowles tearing 
through an adjacent field and frantically crying to me 
to stop, which, from the apparent urgency of the case 
I did until he reached me, all out of breath. ' ' What, ' ' 
said I, hurriedly, "is the matter! " "Do stop a min- 
ute, ' ' said he, ' ' while I play a tune for you on my corn- 
stalk fiddle." 

Well, now, if that don't beat the diable ! I have just 
read over this "baking," in which I promised my 
readers to finish up my fish story, and will be whipped 
if I can find a word about fish in it, although I have 
written about almost everything else in creation. The 
fact is, I am just about going to leave home, and in 
my hurry and confusion of ideas I mistook the date of 
my brother Joe's letter, and got hold of a wrong one. 
C S35 ] 


But there is no use in crying over spilt milk. So I must 
let this go to the Journal, so as to pacify my impatient 
readers until I can find time to do the fish of Narra- 

t 336 ] 

Twenty-fourth Baki?ig 

NOW I have got my foot into it, I may just as 
well keep it there until I finish the remainder of 
my brother Joe's letter, concerning which I made such 
a horrid mistake, before I proceed to tell anything more 
about Narragansett fish ; after which I fully intend, 
when the slippery things are all done for, to tell how 
Phillis, my grandfather's ' ' — but no more of that for 
the present, for as Will Shakespeare's King Lear said, 
"Madness lies that way." Towards the close of my 
brother Joe's letter, he says: "Lands in Point Judith 
and Boston Neck appear to have been largely bought 
up by Boston capitalists at an early period, and the de- 
mand in the West Indies for New England farm prod- 
ucts, not only grain, cheese, &c. , but mules and horses, 
seems to have warranted such a proceeding. Every part 
of Narragansett Bay seems to have had one or more 
trading vessels to the West Indies, whereby the farm- 
ers were enabled to get for their products the cash to 
build large houses all over the new rural districts, ad- 
jacent thereto, and to live in style and enjoy many lux- 
uries." I will just remark here that my father used 
to say that his grandfather, Robert Hazard, owned 
two schooners that traded to the West Indies from 
the South Ferry, their outward-bound cargoes being 
largely furnished by the produce of his own farms, he 
raising annually one hundred horses for export to the 
West Indies, besides great quantities of cheese. We 
used to have in our house one of his cheese vats which 
held nearly a bushel, and it was said that he had twelve 

C 337 2 


cheeses made a day in the height of the season, of its 
size. Barley was also extensively raised on the shore 
farms in South Kingstown in earlier times, and im- 
mense crops of potatoes, after Thomas G. Hazard, of 
Boston Neck, introduced the use of sea-weed as a 
manure. By the by, I don't think there was exactly so 
much cash brought from the West Indies in those days 
as my brother Joe seems to think. The return cargoes 
were mostly molasses, a large part of which was dis- 
tilled in rum for home use, and the Guinea trade. 
Again, farm produce was shipped to the West Indies 
and exchanged for sugar and molasses that was car- 
ried to England and France, and exchanged for Euro- 
pean goods. For a long time America was supplied with 
foreign goods mostly in that roundabout way. Mo- 
lasses, too, was a great medium of barter. The South 
Kingstown town records show that many large farms 
in that town were exclusively sold for molasses. Says 
my brother Joseph: ' ' Jas. Potter, son of ElishaR. (whose 
mother was a Mauney of Huguenot descent), built the 
first stone house in South Kingstown (at the South 
Ferry ) in about 1 845 . 1 built the second one, and laid the 
foundation of it at my Sea Side farm in Point Judith, 
in 1846. That house is popularly known as 'the Castle,' 
but the title is entirely repudiated by me. I had the 
entire foundation of the building laid by John Noka 
(originally pronounced No-cake), an Indian of the Nar- 
ragansett tribe, or as near one as any other then living 
(about half-blood), he being a most excellent mason, a 
quality common to the Narragansett tribe of Indians 
and their descendants. The Narragansetts seem to 
have been a remarkable race of Indians." Of course 
[ 338 ] 


they were. Let me here ask in parenthesis, what thing 
of any kind, mineral, vegetable, animal, or human, was 
there ever raised or produced in Narragansett, that 
wonderful land and home of the gods and goddesses of 
antiquity, and long before that, that was not a good deal 
more than remarkable? Not so gentle, as were the fa- 
mous Mandans of Louisiana (or Texas, perhaps), but 
a people of great courage and energy, very industrious, 
and excellent workers, either as farm laborers, masons, 
or other mechanical pursuits. "I had a particular object 
in employing Noka to lay the foundation of my stone 
house, which he did all himself, besides working on 
the superstructure from beginning to end, for I meant 
the house to be a record for the Narragansett tribe, a 
monument to it, as it were. I dare say you recollect the 
old Narragansett story that was the occasion and gave 
rise to the saying, 'Boston folks are full of notions.' 
It seems that a Narragansett Indian who followed the 
tinman's trade, was in the habit of going down to Bos- 
ton every spring to ply his vocation as a tinker, and 
usually returned in the course of sixty days or so, with 
his pockets full of small change that he so obtained. 
On the last occasion of this kind, however, it was 
observed that the tinker returned from Boston within 
two or three weeks of the time he left his tribe. This 
excited the curiosity of his fellows, but nothing was 
known of the cause until some two years afterwards, 
when another of the tribe happened to go down to Bos- 
ton. On his return to Narragansett, he reported that 
the tinman had been caught stealing in Boston and 
was whipped at the cart's tail therefor. It was not long 
before some one of the tribe asked the tinker why he 
t 339 ] 


left Boston so soon on the occasion of his last visit to 
that town. Said the tinker, in reply, ' Oh, these Boston 
folks be full of notions,' and hence the origin of the 
current saying. 

' ' The Indian grave-yard on their little territory in 
Charlestown must be an interesting spot. I am told the 
graves are made of stone from bottom to top and very 
solid, at least the old ones. I do not know if you remem- 
ber the two coverts that the Narragansetts had, from 
which they watched in early times against the depre- 
dations of Indians in canoes from the Island of Aquid- 
neck. Both of these coverts are made at points where 
canoes would easiest land. One of them is just below 
the South Pier, near by the natural slip formed by a 
bar on which the pier is built. The other covert is on 
'Little Neck,' close to the west bank of the Narrow 
river and nearly opposite the Hopkins rock that is on 
the river shore of Thomas Potter's Boston Neck farm, 
and only a short distance below the lower or third 
Narrow river bridge that was built about 1847. The 
traces left of the covert show it to have been of an oval 
shape, about thirty feet long. The space was, since I 
knew it, well defined by a little oval trench, dug in 
the ground, the earth being thrown up on one edge of 
it, all around and about a foot above the general level. 
These trenches and ridges are well preserved by the 
tough sward that the rich soil would naturally produce. 
They were probably designed to drain off the water 
that might accumulate in stormy weather within the 
coverts, and keep the bark or otherwise covered tents 
of the native " coast guard " comfortable. I have often 
visited and examined both these Indian coverts. The 

C 340 ] 


one at Narrow river (Pettaquamscutt), however, has 
been lately ignorantly or barbarously plowed down. 
The other covert by the pier is intact, but has been 
somewhat damaged of late years, and I fear must soon 
disappear unless measures be taken for its preserva- 
tion. They attracted my attention many years ago, and 
I learned from old folks at the time that their origin 
and purpose were such as I have described, a tradition 
that their location seems to fully justify. Of this most 
interesting race considerable trace was left during our 
own earlier period of life. Several of the Narragansett 
tribe, half-bloods or mixed, fought in the Revolution- 
ary War. Old Guy Watson, whom we used to see so 
often attending elections, courts, and the General As- 
sembly in his Continental regimental coat, was one 
of these. Guy was at Fort Ticonderoga; he also helped 
Captain Prescott and fought at Red Bank, as did also 
a Mr. Hazard of Newport, whom I have heard shot 
Count or Baron Dunlap dead in his saddle. James 
Warmsly, who lived in a house of James and John 
Sherman's on the Old Kingston road, was a half-blood 
Indian, and not a man of any color or condition in 
Narragansett was more truly and sincerely respected 
than he. Rhode Island had probably not a single citizen 
who was more upright and correct in his daily walk 
than this humble, laboring, half-blood Indian. The last 
King of the Narragansetts was ' King Tom,' I think. 
Brother Isaac bought his chair of state of somebody, 
and also a little copper kettle that he used. Brother Row- 
land has the chair now, and perhaps the kettle." 

I will just here say in parenthesis, that I think my 
brother Joseph is under a wrong impression as to King 
[ 341 ] 


Tom being the last King of the Charlestown tribe of 
Narragansett Indians. Queen Esther, his only sister, 
succeeded to the throne after King Tom's death. Wm. 
Kenyon, late of Charlestown, saw Queen Esther 
crowned in about 1776, as he writes to Mr. Wilkins 
Updike. ' ' She was elevated on a large rock, so that the 
people might see her. The council surrounded her. 
There were present about twenty Indian soldiers with 
guns. They marched her to the rock. The Indians 
nearest the royal blood, in presence of her counselors, 
put the crown on her head. It was made of cloth cov- 
ered with blue and white peage. When the crown was 
put on the Queen's head, the soldiers fired a royal 
salute and huzzahed in the Indian tongue. The cere- 
mony was imposing, and everything was conducted 
with great order . Then the soldiers waited on the Queen 
to her house, and fired salutes. There were 500 natives 
present, besides others. Queen Esther left one son 
named George ; he was crowned after the death of his 
mother. I was enlisting soldiers and went to him, and 
asked him to enlist as a soldier in the Revolutionary 
War. The squaws objected and told me he was their 
King. ' ' King George was killed by the falling of a tree, 
in the 22d year of his age. " No King," says Updike, 
was ever crowned after him, and not an Indian of the 
whole blood, now (1847), remains in the tribe." I used 
to hear Molly Hazard tell a good deal about Queen Es- 
ther, who w r as often at her father's [Sylvester Robin- 
son, son of Gov.Wm. R.] . Queen Esther was imbued 
with a haughty spirit, and could not be induced to 
speak a word of English, averring that she would never 
speak the language of the destroyer of her people. 
C 342 ] 


Now that I have got through with that unfortunate 
wrong letter, I propose in earnest to take up the right 
one, and finish up the fish of Narragansett without 
further delay, and then proceed to show how Phillis, 
&c. So here I begin anew with the Narragansett fish : 
'The clumsy and apparently helpless woodchuck 
(ground hog of Pennsylvania)," continues my brother 
Joe, "holds out amazingly in Narragansett, for he can 
neither fight nor run, and every farmer is his mortal 
enemy and trains his dog especially to kill him." I 
will say here in parenthesis, that I used to know one 
farmer who was too tender-hearted to even kill a wood- 
chuck. It was old Mr. Babcock, who lived just north 
of the Commodore Perry farm, in Matoonek. A wood- 
chuck had dug his hole in Babcock' s bean patch and 
committed great depredations on the crop. Babcock 
used occasionally to waylay and catch the woodchuck, 
when he would whip him severely, but always let him 
go with a renewed reminder that it would be worse for 
him next time, if he did not let his beans alone. ' ' Yet, ' ' 
continues Joe, ' ' they do not seem to yield much. I have 
them about my house, but I allow nothing killed on 
my farm, not even a skunk or a snake." 

I may just here remark in a short parenthesis that 
my brother Joe's mention of a snake brings to my mind 
the immense black-snakes that used to prevail in Nar- 
ragansett, held by old Dick Corey to be lineal descend- 
ants of that great fiend of human progress, the snake 
mentioned in Genesis. This is the same Dick Corey 
who, as I have said before, used to tell of a black-snake 
he encountered in the Wilson woods, north-east of 
Peace Dale, whilst he was huckleberrying, that was 

I 343 ] 


as long as a fence rail and carried on his head a car- 
buncle as big as a tea-kettle. The letter continues: 
"Nor have I for thirty-five years. But the woodchuck 
seems to be everywhere, despite the farmers, who so 
hate him for the little corn he eats. ' ' My brother Joseph 
ought here to have added "and beans." I have heard 
old Enoch Lewis say that when he was a boy they used 
to make better beans and corn in Narragansett with- 
out any corn in it than they then did with both beans 
and corn. Old Enoch lived in the house that stood, when 
I was young, on the bank of a big gully right at Co- 
lumbia Corner, that was all washed out in one thun- 
der-storm. Friends (or Quakers) rode by the place on 
their way to meeting at the old meeting-house that used 
to stand upon the elbow of the road near the ' ' Tower 
Hill House, ' ' 41 and on their way back, two hours later, 
from meeting, there was a gully washed out some forty 
or fifty feet deep, and thousands of loads of gravel 
carried into the old coon (now Wakefield) mill-pond. 
Enoch used to say that he was one of the boys that 
used to ride between Narragansett and Virginia, to 
bring and carry back the fast horses that were fur- 
nished by the Virginia gentlemen to compete with 
the still faster Narragansett horses on the race course 
then so common in this blessed country. 

My brother Joe continues : " I dare say the wood- 
chuck of Rhode Island, or ground hog of Pennsylva- 
nia, does more good than harm, as even the crow is 
found to do. I have long observed that where farm- 
ers are the most intelligent the least objection exists to 
what are supposed to be noxious animals and birds. 
In Scotland moles have not been killed for twenty- 

[ 344 H 


five years past, but I found in exploring England, that 
mole catching was there a common pursuit, as I think 
it is yet to some extent. About the year 1837, 1 stood 
on a hill on Ram Island, a part of the old Carder Haz- 
ard farm, now called the Foddering Place, in Point 
Judith, when in about thirty acres of land (the area 
of the island), we counted fourteen woodchucks all 
in sight at the same time, most of them standing up 
on their haunches by their holes in the ground, look- 
ing at us." Christopher Robinson's pond (now Silver 
Lake) was full of fish in 1820 and later, such as sun- 
fish, white and yellow perch (some of them weighing 
two and three pounds), pickerel, and some catfish. 
When I first went from West Town school to Nar- 
ragansett I recollect of going to this pond to fish one 
afternoon, and caught four hundred fish. I was per- 
fectly amazed, for to get a dozen a day at Bristol on 
the Delaware, even of sunfish (called pumpkin seeds in 
contempt in Narragansett) , would be a grand piece of 
luck. My surprise was such that I finally concluded, 
strange as it seems to be, that the people of Narragan- 
sett had never learned that there were any fish in ' ' Kit's 
pond. ' ' I was but thirteen years old and perfectly mys- 
tified. It did not occur to me that the big fish of the 
sea was the attraction, nor did I know then that even 
the laboring people of Narragansett abhorred the idea 
of eating fresh-water fish, with the exception of trout, 
as was really the case. The same feeling existed then 
(I wish it had continued) in regard to small birds. To 
have eaten a blackbird or robin, or anything of the sort 
short of teal, wild ducks, green-headed plover, grass 
plover, curlews, partridges, woodcock, snipe, and 

C 345 ] 


quails, would have been as repugnant to their taste 
as the eating of rats and mice. Unfortunately, some 
one conceived the idea of making Kit's pond profit- 
able, and stocked it with pike. These pike have now 
pretty much cleared out all other fish, and hold about 
full possession of the pond. Some of them, I think, 
weigh seven or eight pounds. I may just here say that 
I used to hear of pike taken in the Snuff mill-pond, 
where Gilbert Stuart was born, that would weigh from 
twenty-five to thirty pounds each. "Minks have been 
pretty much exterminated in Narragansett because of 
the high price obtained for their skins. Weasels, some 
of them white, still remain, and should be protected 
to keep down the guinea rat, now so common and de- 
structive all over the southern part of Rhode Island. 
The guinea rat is a curse brought from Africa, in slave- 
ships, that have exterminated the native blue rat of the 
country." Just let me here add, as the pale-faced men 
of England have exterminated not only the red men 
of the Narragansett country, but of nearly all North 
America. "Some years ago muskrats were numbered 
by thousands in the ponds about the sea-coast in Nar- 
ragansett. Their skins were then worth fourcents each. 
Soon after these rose in market to seven cents apiece, 
muskrats almost entirely disappeared. Thomas B. Haz- 
ard, that remarkable man, a perfect chronicle, told 
me that he remembered when the last wolf was killed 
in Narragansett, at the upper end of Boston Neck, in 
about 1750." I will just here say that when I was a 
boy, I used to hear a good deal about a wolf that came 
to his death in what is to this day called the ' ' Wolf 
Bog," on the north border of Peace Dale. The story 
I 346 2 


ran after this wise : A big gray wolf gave chase to an 
old slab-sided, long-bodied, sharp-nosed sow of what 
was then called the land-shark breed, which kind of 
swine the late William French, of Kingston, always 
contended made the best pork and hams of any breed 
of swine, which I, too, think is the fact. Just before 
the old sow reached the edge of the aforesaid bog, the 
wolf grabbed her with his teeth, by the end of her 
tail, which caused the terrified creature to increase her 
speed so marvelously that, as old Jim Newberry, who 
was cutting wood near by, said, neither the sow nor 
the wolf could be separately discerned with the naked 
eye, they somewhat resembling a streak of lightning 
as they passed along, only rather quicker in motion ; 
so quick, in fact, that the terror-stricken old sow in 
her heedless course plunged directly through a maple 
tree two feet in diameter that stood in her way, drag- 
ging the gray wolf after her more than half his length, 
when he was caught by the rebound of the maple just 
forward of his hips and so held secure until Jim New- 
berry (whom I used to know) came forward and dis- 
patched him with his wood axe. This story may be 
rather tough for people of contracted minds to swal- 
low, much less digest ; but yet it would seem to rest on 
a foundation, else why has the boggy swale where the 
wolf came to his end always to this day been known as 
the wolf bog? Beavers were gone before our day, but 
a panther (from the north, probably) was killed by a 
twelve-year-old boy in Hopkinton about the year 1819. 
The boy and beast were both exhibited." I may be 
permitted here to say, in parenthesis, that- 1 remember 
all about this affair well. The boy that killed the big 

C 347 ] 


panther, weighing, if I remember, a good deal over one 
hundred pounds avoirdupois, if not one hundred and 
fifty, was out in the woods with his younger brother. 
When they discovered the huge creature up in a chest- 
nut tree, the twelve-year-old boy told his little brother 
to keep watch of the animal until he could run to the 
house and get his father's big gun, which happened 
to be loaded with ball or very big shot. When the 
twelve-year-old got back he told his little brother to 
stand before him, so that when he kneeled down to fire 
he might rest the heavy gun on his shoulder. This the 
little fellow did, and so the two together shot to death 
the huge beast at the first fire. 

The negroes, ' ' continues Joe, ' ' are a superior race 
to the whites in many respects. They have loving, 
feminine hearts, the highest endowment of nature. 
The religious element is preeminently active in them. 
They possess great natural sagacity, quick perception, 
and high respect for human nature, as demonstrated 
in their courtesy to each other, their equals, as well 
as towards other races. They have, also, great self- 
respect naturally. Their social faculty is very large, 
and they more delight in mere social intercourse than 
any other race I ever saw in my travels through a large 
portion of the world. They have great power of in- 
sight into the character of those they meet. They 
are graceful in manner and movement, as well as de- 
portment, especially their women. The most queenly- 
looking woman I ever saw was a mulatto, aged about 
forty, who is living in Narragansett now. Their state- 
liness of walk is very striking. It sometimes rises to 
the majestic at the South; but this mav be the result 
C 348 ] 


in part from the colored people in that portion of our 
country habitually bearing their burthens on their 
heads. The Hindoos also have it, who, by the way, 
have, without doubt, great natural capacity that is not 
at all appreciated or understood by European races, 
but which will take form some day in a movement 
that will astonish the world." 

I think there is a great deal of truth in what my 
brother Joe says about the negro race. There were 
many of the old Narragansett negroes who had served 
cultured masters and mistresses who possessed the most 
courtly breeding and manners. There was old Bristor 
Gardiner, whose manner and bearing would have done 
honor to a President of the United States. My father 
was once keeping bachelor's hall many years ago in 
the Rodman House, at the old mill (now Wakefield), 
which he then owned, and leased out to Rodman Car- 
penter. A fine loin of veal had been roasted for dinner 
one day, which was set up for the next day's dinner 
without being cut, we having unexpectedly got our 
dinner abroad. Next morning my father, chancing to 
go into the kitchen, found Bristor sitting alone at a 
table regaling himself on a loin of veal. The old darkey 
immediately arose from his seat, and with the most 
polite demeanor and manner, greeted my father, and 
then patronizingly observed with a bow that might 
have excited the envy of Chesterfield, " Master Haz- 
ard, I have brought a peck of corn this morning to 
your mill, to grind ! " The toll of the corn, one pint — 
which went, of course, to the miller — at that time 
might be worth one cent, but what could my father say 
or do but smile at the polite assurance of the courtly 

C 349 H 


old customer. "There are," continues, after a while, 
my brother Joe, "millions of fine sea perch (one of the 
best of fish) in the Salt pond at all seasons, and myri- 
ads of herrings in the spring. I remember when hauls 
were made in the Salt pond, not many years ago, in 
which common hands engaged sometimes made one 
hundred dollars each in a single night for their individ- 
ual share, and the seine itself took one-half of all the 
fish caught, and there were other parties engaged in 
the hauling who took far more each than a mere hand 
share. Then there was the smelt ware at the upper end 
of the Salt pond below Wakefield. What quantities 
of delicious smelts were formerly taken there, although 
the yield is now light. As late as 1840, we used to get 
these smelts fresh every morning, in their season, for 
two shillings (33^ cents) a peck. Then the flounders, 
and flatfish, and eels, and great snapping-turtles that 
used to be so common in that beautiful lake ! ' ' Speak- 
ing of snapping-turtles reminds me of William B. 
Rotch, a son of Benjamin Rotch, formerly of New 
Bedford, and later of Milford Haven, Wales, who was 
knighted for introducing the whale fishery into Eng- 
land, and myself going down one evening nearly 
sixty years ago, to catch eels in the smelt -ware alluded 
to, where I have caught scores of fine, fat yellow- 
breasted eels of an evening, with a bob only, instead 
of a hook. On this evening, however, we fished with 
hooks, and strange to say, although we had plenty of 
bites, we caught not a single eel. The bite was al- 
ways a nibble of the most gentle kind, and every time 
I jerked, my hook brought up as if caught in an old log 
or stump at the bottom of the ware, which caused me 

C 350 3 


to slack the line, and when I pulled again, it always 
came out of the water without difficulty, but with no 
eel upon the hook. After wasting an hour's time in 
this equivocal sport, I thought I would try an exper- 
iment. So at the next nibble, instead of slacking up 
when I felt the obstruction I pulled steadily on my line, 
when lo, up came slowly a great snapping-turtle, who 
spit out the hook the moment he touched the ground 
and I had slacked the line, just as the turtles had 
all done before whilst at the bottom of the smelt weir. 
Having learned the trick, we soon caught half a score 
or more of the turtles of some eight to ten pounds 
weight each. Thomas B. Hazard, Jr., son of Nailer 
Tom, was probably the greatest turtle catcher that was 
ever known. He used to set great baited steel traps for 
them, of his own making (he being a blacksmith), in 
most of the ponds (under deep water) in South Kings- 
town, and he also had a method of taking turtles with 
strong hooks fastened on the ends of long poles, with 
which he would feel for them at the bottom of ponds 
at certain seasons of the year, when they lay imbed- 
ded in the mud, and draw them out with his big hook. 
He told me that he once caught eleven snapping-tur- 
tles, none of your turtles, but regular turkles, in one of 
the Hill country ponds, each and every one of which 
weighed exactly eighty-two pounds, comprising, as 
he surmised, one whole litter, the individuals of which 
always, as he averred, keep exact pace with each other 
as they grow, in weight. I disremember the exact time 
(it must have been when I was a very small boy) when 
one morning black Pomp brought home to my grand- 
father an immense snappmg-turk/e that he got in 
C 351 ] 


Indian Run pond, and cut its head off at the wood- 
pile. Phillis, who made the best turkle soup of anybody 
in the world, had it boiling in the big pot all day, and 
when evening came, the fire getting a little slack, she 
sent Abe, that born son of Satan, out to the wood-pile, 
in the dark, to bring in some chips. Soon such a hor- 
rible yelling, screeching, and hullaballoo was raised by 
Abe as nobody but that son of the Devil could accom- 
plish, as he came limping into the kitchen with the 
head of the snapping-turk/e fast to his big toe. Pomp 
said it was no use trying to make the snapper's head 
let go, for snapping-turkles never do let go till it thun- 
ders, and so he told Abe to go to bed and lie still till 
the next thunder-storm. Phillis, however, after telling 
Abe to stop his noise, and remarking that if there 
was anything on airth she 'spised, it was Pomp, who 
didn't know that a live wannut coal was just as good 
to make a turkle let go as a thunder-clap, and suiting 
her action to her words, she seized the big kitchen 
tongs and took a red-hot coal from her kitchen fire and 
held it right atop of the turkle r s head, when it let go 
of Abe's toe as quick as you could say Jack Robin- 
son ; but I should like to see the man or woman, black 
or white, who ever got Abe out to the wood-pile again 
after dark ! 

Speaking about eels makes me think of my Uncle 
Robert Hazard, and his cousin, George Hazard, going 
eeling one moonlight night on the end of old Uncle 
Thomas Robinson's wharf, on the Point in Newport. 
Uncle Robert pulled up an eel, which, however, dropped 
right off his hook into the water again. In his excite- 
ment he fell off the wharf, and not being able to swim, 
[ 352 ] 


he sunk several times, whilst every time he got his head 
above water his cousin George, who thought Robert 
had jumped in on purpose to catch the eel, would sing 
out, ' ' Got him, Robert? Got him, Robert? Got him? ' ' 
Fortunately old Tommy Goddard, who happened to 
be passing the head of the wharf in his boat, com- 
prehended the situation, and rescued Robert from his 
threatened watery grave. My Uncle Robert held a 
grudge against George after that for quite a time, be- 
cause he did not try to help him out when he fell off the 
wharf. Awhile after this Uncle Robert and his cousins, 
George Hazard and Tommy Robinson, were all three 
sleeping in the same room at Uncle Thomas Robin- 
son's, George and Tommy in one bed and Uncle Rob- 
ert in another. Tommy Robinson had lately returned 
from the wilderness country in Vermont, where he had 
gone prospecting. He and my Uncle Robert afterwards 
married sisters by the name of Fish and settled atFer- 
risburg in Addison county in that newly organized dis- 
trict, where their descendants are numerous and highly 
respectable. Speaking of Vermont makes me think of 
a young man who once went to England as traveling 
companion (after the usage of Friends) with a public 
Friend, perhaps Joseph Hoag, the Quaker Prophet, 
who foretold minutely, in 1803, all about the changes 
that were to take place in the United States, including 
the late Civil War, which prophecy I have had in my 
possession for about forty years. No historian could 
more correctly narrate to-day the leading points of the 
great changes that have taken place in the country from 
1 803 to the close of the Civil War than that old Quaker 
preacher and prophet did before any of them occurred. 

[ 353 ] 


Well, what I was going to say is that while this young 
man was dining at a friend's house in England, he 
mentioned that in Vermont they had trees three hun- 
dred feet high ! After dinner an English Friend sought 
a private opportunity with the young man and cau- 
tioned him against relating such an improbable story 
as he had done about the trees of Vermont, as no solid 
Friends in England would believe him, and he might 
thus bring reproach upon the society. Some few years 
after this it so chanced that the English Friend, who 
had reproved the young Vermonter, chanced to visit 
America on a religious visit, and coming to Vermont, 
he dined at the house of the father of the young man. 
After dinner he told his friend that he would be very 
much pleased if he would now have one of those three 
hundred feet trees he told of in England felled, so that 
he might see it measured. The young man answered 
that a hired man was then chopping in the woods, and 
he would take him out where he was, and, if necessary, 
get him to cut down a tall tree for his satisfaction. Just 
as they got within speaking distance of the woodchop- 
per, a tree fell, which the English Friend measured 
with his own hands and found it to be three hundred 
and ten feet as it lay. As I was just saying, Tommy 
Robinson had lately returned from the Green Moun- 
tains, in Vermont, where he had seen more than one 
bear. So in the night referred to, he dreamed he caught 
a bear, and clinching both his hands into the long thick 
hair of his bedfellow, he sung out, "A bear, a bear, 
Robert." Robert took in the situation at once, and 
remembering George's shabby treatment of him in 
connection with the eel, he shouted back, "Kill him, 
[ 354 ] 


Tommy, kill him." Upon this, Tommy put the licks 
into his cousin George right and left, who struck back 
with equal good-will, and a desperate fisticuff fight en- 
sued, which continued until old Uncle Thomas Robin- 
son, hearing the racket, entered the chamber and sepa- 
rated the combatants, but not until both had given each 
other bloody noses ! There, now ! I think all reasonable 
readers will give me credit for having made good dis- 
patch in this baking on the fish question, which I shall 
doubtless be able to finish up in my next, and then go 
straight ahead and tell how it happened that Phillis, 
my grandfather's thrice renowned and incomparable 
colored cook, came to be the cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 

C 355 ] 

Twenty-jifth Baking 

SAYS my brother Joe : "What myriads of oysters, 
clams, and quahaugs, and acres of wild ducks, 
widgeons, broadbills, dippers, teal, and summer ducks 
there used to be in that beautiful lake (Salt pond) ! We 
used to get those oysters, as good as any known, for 
thirty-three cents a peck, and seventeen cents a quart 
gotten out of the shell. Trout were in all our streams, 
from Crooked Brook in Point Judith (at its mouth, at 
the cove) to Brown's Brook, Indian Run, Rocky Brook, 
and Saucatucket river, and I have known one caught 
at Pickerel Point," the junction of Saucatucket river 
and Indian Run , ' ' that weighed four pounds and seven 
ounces." That was a whopper for a brook-trout. 

The biggest trout I ever caught was in the month 
of March, many years ago, just after the old Peace 
Dale mill-dam was carried away in a freshet. As I was 
sauntering along the bank of the Saucatucket river, 
some ten or fifteen rods below the dam, I saw a big 
speckled trout side of a rock, and I just thought I would 
try the English method of catching trout where the 
water is cold, by tickling ! So I just put my hand down 
slily behind the tail of the fish, and making a sort of 
half-moon or rather crescent with my fingers and palm, 
I carried my hand beneath him and manipulated him 
gently with the tips of my fingers. Whether it was the 
warmth of my fingers, or what, I don't know, but the 
trout did not move otherwise than to rise gradually to 
the surface of the water, my hand following him all 
the while, with the ends of my fingers occasionally 
C 356 ] 


gently tickling him, until he got his back almost out 
of water, when with a sudden jerk I landed him on 
the bank. I took him home and found he just turned 
the steelyards at three pounds and one-half. 

To return to my brother's letter, he says: "Old 
Mr. Kidder Randolph, Col.Totten, Chas. Grant Perry, 
Doctor Dunn, all from Newport, and others, used to 
know these streams well, and were sure to be there in 
season. The last time I saw Col. Totten, he was an 
old man and Major-General Totten. 42 He almost wept 
over his recollections of his trouting days about Peace 
Dale. I remember he said that those waters produced 
the finest trout he ever saw anywhere ' ' (To be sure ! 
Let me say here in parenthesis, what else upon earth 
could be expected of Narragansett waters), "adding 
with a tremulous voice, ' I fear there is no hope for me 
that I shall ever see those charming streams again.' 
I met Col. Tarrant (an Englishman, who was a great 
sportsman and used to be at Newport and in Narra- 
gansett a great deal about 1825 to ''SB) here in Eng- 
land (in London in 1868, 1 think). He remembered his 
American life, much as Col. Totten did Narragansett, 
and spoke of Newport, where he had been so much, 
and of its comfortable boarding-houses, and its beau- 
tiful surroundings, with much feeling. His wife was 
with him at the time, both well advanced in years, but 
in good health and active. Our blackberries, blueber- 
ries, whortleberries, dangleberries, strawberries, cran- 
berries, and fox grapes constituted our wild fruits, 
chiefly with chestnuts, hickory nuts, a little back from 
the shore." 

I may here say that within sixty years, the hickory 

[ 357 ] 


(or walnut, as we call it) was a more common tree 
around the immediate shores of the ocean and armlets 
of the sea than any other tree. When I was a boy I 
used to go nutting on Little Neck, in the upper part 
of Point Judith, where just on the edge of the cove, 
there was a large grove of wannut trees that bore very 
well. Immediately on the western outline of this little 
forest of walnuts stood the big rock, with a smaller one 
at the foot of it that may now be seen, with which the 
big one was crowned less than a century ago. A beau- 
tiful little poem is yet in possession of members of the 
Robinson family that was written by Amy Robinson, 
daughter of Thomas Robinson, of Newport (who mar- 
ried Robert Bowne, of New York), in commemoration 
of this classic rock and of the vandalism of the young 
men who in frolic rolled the lesser rock down from the 
summit, and thus in the poetic words of the fair writer, 
"Robbed the hoary monarch of its crown." All along 
Pettaquamscutt river and cove, from its head-waters 
nearly to the sea, walnut trees, since my remembrance, 
used to abound to a greater extent than any others, 
especially on the western side of the river. And so on 
most, if not all the points of land projecting into the 
sea and on the shores of the islands in Narragansett 
bay. These have now disappeared almost as generally 
as the button woods, 43 and the old pasture fantastic- 
limbed white oaks that used to be so common on the 
sea-coast and lent such a weird charm to our landscapes. 
Since my memory great fish-hawks used to make their 
nests in the tops of these old white oaks. "Our black- 
berries were ' ' (says Joe) ' ' and still are in some local- 
ities unsurpassed, and I once found a wild strawberry 
C 358 ] 


near Peace Dale, that was three-quarters of an inch in 
diameter." Strange enough, speaking of that big straw- 
berry brought into my head the dark day that occurred 
exactly at the same time with an eclipse of the sun, a 
remarkable coincidence, as old Ducky 44 Brown used 
to say," somewhere, I think, about 1806-7. Ike and I 
went strawberrying after dinner and had capital luck, 
having got several quarts, when we were horrified by 
the sun suddenly going out of sight and leaving us in 
darkness before the middle of the afternoon. We hur- 
ried home, and in passing the hen-house observed that 
all the fowls had gone to roost. It scared me dreadfully 
at first, and I felt just like praying, but just so soon 
as the sun came out again, my pious fit went off and 
I acted just like what the old nigger preacher said, 
that "his bredren were just like de hog eating acorns 
under de oak tree and never looking up to see where 
dey come from." The idea I want to impress my 
readers with is better illustrated by old Jim Phillips, 
who used to live in the old house that stood just back 
of the sand-hills of the Narragansett Pier beach in 
Little Neck, near the mouth of Narrow river. Old Jim 
used to go fishing in a crazy, leaky boat, and one day 
he got caught outside in a terrible squall, accompanied 
with a sea that threatened every minute to swamp his 
boat. So the old fellow began to pray: "Easy, Lord, 
easy, Lord, jjoor old man and poor old boat! " Jim 
kept repeating the words until his boat luckily fetched 
into the mouth of the river and grounded in compar- 
atively smooth water, when he jumped ashore, shout- 
ing, "Now blow, Devil, blow, Devil, stout old man 
and stout old boat." Jim Phillips 40 was a lucky man. 

C 359 ] 


The night before the great September gale of 1815, 
Jim pilfered from Hazard Knowles — who then owned 
and lived on the Little Neck farm — a big, scraggy 
buttonwood limb, which he threw down by his door. 
The next day, almost at the commencement of the 
gale, an immense sea, or tidal wave, came rolling in 
before the cyclone, way over the highest tops of the 
sand-hills, more than twenty feet high, which swept 
the house clean before it and drowned all in it, except 
one colored woman by the name of Weeden (who hap- 
pened to get on the roof with a child under each arm, 
which she was successively obliged to drop) and old 
Jim Phillips, who managed to get on the stolen but- 
tonwood limb, and was landed in safety more than a 
mile up the river near by where Mrs. Weeden came 
to land. To return, says Joe: "The high blackberries 
were very large and fine, and I never heard of their 
failing until within the last twenty years. Blackberries 
are now worth about ten cents a quart in Narragan- 
sett. The old price was two cents and huckleberries 
three cents. I remember when, in 1822, Thomas and 
John Williams made several hogsheads of blackberry 
wine for sale, by way of experiment. They got all 
the blackberries they wanted brought to their door 
for one cent a quart." Let me here remark that this 
was before the cussed manufactories were built that 
enable people to get a living without being obliged to 
tear their clothes and scratch their legs, hands, and 
arms picking blackberries at ten quarts for a dime. 

I think now I have about got through with the fish 
of Narragansett, unless it be to say that there are some 
sheepshead along the Point Judith and Boston Neck 

C 360 3 


roads, which some think a superior fish to the tautog. 
Boston folks don't know how to cook a tautog, which to 
be first-rate should be nailed to a red- oak jonny-cake 
board, and baked a la Phillis before a hardwood fire. 
The sheepshead seem to be a very domestic fish, and 
to live in pairs. Old Benny Nichols, 46 who lived in the 
old Robert Knowles house, a little east of Peace Dale, 
used to go down every year to a certain hole in a rock 
at Boston Neck and catch a pair of sheepshead. I never 
knew him to catch more than two, nor did he ever 
catch less. Just two and nothing more. So now good- 
bye to the Narragansett fish ! except j ust to remark on 
taking leave that monstrous big bull-frogs abound all 
over Narragansett and peeping frogs without number, 
although some say there are no such things as peeping 
frogs, it being the little speckled turtles that make the 
weird and pleasing music that is generally attributed to 
frogs. Speaking of bull-frogs makes me think of what 
(by tradition) occurred in Windham, Conn., many 
years ago, when that poor, bigoted colony was wholly 
under priest and blue-law rule. Col. Dyre of that town 
was a great Indian fighter, and one night his men were 
all called together by blowing of horns, beating of 
drums, and special messengers. A terrible Indian war- 
whoop and cry came from the depths of the forest, 
which filled every heart in the settlement, of all ages 
and sexes, with dismay, not even excepting the bravest 
of the brave among the men. The name of the com- 
mander was pronounced in so loud and thrilling a tone 
that there could be no doubt of his being singled out 
as the chiefest object of the dreaded Injuns' vengeance. 
In fact, there was hardly any other distinguishable 
C 361 ] 


words heard, except "Colonel Dyre! Colonel Dyre! 
Colonel Dyre ! ' ' from the beginning to the end of 
the war-cry. The colonel was a brave soldier, and he 
resolved to lead his men at once against the enemy. 
They moved with great caution, and guided by the 
terrible cry they soon came upon the enemy encamped 
in a small pond in the wilderness in the shape of some 
hundred or more bull-frogs, who were rejoicing at hav- 
ing found a good supply of water in a severe drought 
that had dried up every other stream and pond in Wind- 
ham. The men of Windham, itwas said, ever after this 
had a special antipathy to bull-frogs, and made a point 
of conscience and honor to destroy every one they could 
find trespassing on their domain. 

I presume every Rhode Islander who loves jonny- 
cake properly made a la Phillis, out of white Rhode 
Island corn meal slowly and finely ground by Rhode 
Island granite mill-stones, and baked on a red-oak 
board before a hardwood fire, must be heartily glad 
that Shepherd Tom is now just about to commence 
to tell how it happened that Phillis, his grandfather's 
never-to-be-forgotten unparalleled colored cook, came 
to be the remote cause of the French Revolution, and 
the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Before 
the main facts of that remarkable historical phenome- 
nal incident are narrated, it is necessary for me to say 
that among all the culinary accomplishments possessed 
by Phillis, my grandfather's most wonderful of the 
wonderful colored cooks of Old Narragansett, there 
was not one that would compare with her god or god- 
dess-like skill in making coffee. Phillis used to say there 
was nothing in this whole airth that she 'spised more 
C 362 ] 


than she did a man that did not like good coffee, unless 
it be a feller who could n't tell the difference between 
her coffee and such stuff as was made by them mon- 
key cooks that belonged to Old Chambo, Go to Grass, 
Admirable Stang, Markis Fayette, and them early 
Parley voos, that came to Newport and Narragansett 
to fight the Britishers, just 'cos Mari-Tonet could n't 
get — but I am anticipating and must stop just here 
and proceed with my preface. Phillis said she never 
knowed one of them fellows that couldn't tell the dif- 
ference between her coffee and bad coffee that was fit 
for anything else, as Will Shakespeare, who used to 
keep "Will's Coffee House" at New Lonnon, used 
to say, but "treason, stratajim, and spile." I think, 
however, that had Phillis lived until now, she would 
have felt equal contempt for the housekeepers of this 
day, who, to save a little trouble, buy their coffee ready 
burnt at the grocery shops. For the " gret-room' n folks 
Phillis always made my grandfather get the best Old 
Mocha coffee. In fact, he always had a store on hand, 
twenty years or more old, which, she said, she could 
not be cheated in, ' ' 'cos Mocha coffee allers had gravel- 
stones in it, 'cos the half-nigger Arrabs, who lived 
there, didn't know northin', and spread their coffee on 
the ground to dry. ' ' When Phillis set out to make her 
best coffee for breakfast, she used to wait till all the 
" gret-room' 1 ' 1 folks were up, washed and dressed, and 
ready to sit down to the table. She then put her coffee 
into her long-handled iron pan, and held it over the 
fire, herself stirring it all the time with a sweet-scented 
white wannut stick that she called her coffee stirrer. It 
was very seldom that Phillis allowed any of her coffee 

1 363 n 


to get burned, but if a grain did chance to, she always 
picked it out and threw it into the fire ; for Phillis used 
to say that if there was anything on airth she 'spised, 
it was bitter, burned coffee, which was not "fit for 
white folks, niggers, nor injuns." The very minute 
the coffee was done parching, Phillis put it in the cof- 
fee-mill and made Abe grind it as quick as he could , 
for she said the very best part of the coffee began to 
mount up toward heaven (from whence she said the 
gods brought it to Narragansett) the moment it was 
parched enough, and continued to do so through all its 
stages of preparation until it was drank. Whilst Abe 
was turning the coffee-mill, Phillis always sent Mar- 
garet to the '■ gret-room" to tell the folks to set down 
to the table, whilst my grandmother put the sugar 
and cream into the coffee-cups, which were always 
full twice the size of tea-cups, so as to keep the coffee 
hot. In fact, my grandfather's coffee-cups were more 
than four times as big as the old-fashioned Narra- 
gansett tea-cups which, when tea was first brought 
from China and held to be a very great and expen- 
sive luxury, were not much bigger than the half of a 
bantam pullet's egg-shell. I remember hearing Molly 
Hazard (daughter of Sylvester Robinson, who lived in 
the gambrel-roofed house that is now incorporated in- 
tact into the Governor Sprague Folly, near the Pier in 
Point Judith) say that on occasion of Judge Light- 
foot, a very absent-minded and scrupulously polite old 
gentleman, of Newport, taking tea one afternoon at 
her father's, she and several other young ladies who 
chanced to be present at the time, thought they would 
have a little fun with the old Judge. So when they sat 

[ 364 ] 


down to tea, they got the sociable old man in excel- 
lent spirits and talking freely, while Molly plied him 
with renewed cups of tea. Three cups then was the 
major quantity sanctioned by the rules of good soci- 
ety. When Judge Lightfoot had accomplished that 
number, he put his teaspoon across the top of his cup, 
to indicate, as was the custom, that he had taken the 
prescribed quantity. By this time the polite old ' ' ladies' 
man ' ' had got in so voluble a mood that he forgot him- 
self, and on his fair hostess pressing him to allow her 
to refill his cup, he bowed and saying "anything to 
please the ladies," passed it up to be filled again. This 
was repeated again and again with the same accom- 
panying words, until the Judge's cup had been re- 
plenished twenty-seven times, and the hot water had 
given out. 

My grandfather had an old yellow-skinned bug- 
horned cow that Phillis made him keep until she died 
a natural death, in the twenty-fourth year of her age, 
because, as Phillis averred, her milk gave richer and 
sweeter cream for coffee than any cow on the farm. 
Just as soon as Abe had ground the last grain of cof- 
fee, Phillis always put it in her coffee-pot and set it 
over the fire for a prescribed time known best to her- 
self, and settled it with an egg-shell. Margaret then 
took it immediately in to the breakfast table to be drank 
without delay, the whole house, besides a considerable 
portion of out-doors, being so thoroughly impregnated 
with the delightful aroma of the precious decoction 
that all the horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, and poultry on 
the farm used to draw near from all the quarters to 
snuff the delightful perfume, and even whole flocks of 

C 365 ] 


passing birds have been known to light upon the chim- 
ney and roof of the house before breakfast was over. 
Whilst I abominate with all my heart, body, mind, 
and soul such coffee (so called) as is furnished at the 
restaurants and most of the hotels of the day (includ- 
ing first-class), to say nothing of the tens of thousands 
of private families, in which it is so fearfully dese- 
crated, I do say that I have never, since my sixteenth 
year, at which age I was first allowed by my thought- 
ful parents to drink either coffee or tea, taken a break- 
fast without coffee. It is true that for more than thirty 
years I was unable to drink coffee, but then, during 
the whole of that period, let me have what else I might 
beside, I never knew what it was to take a morning 
meal deserving the name of breakfast. And now, in 
my eighty-fourth year, I do faithfully say that I would 
rather have a good cup of coffee for breakfast, accom- 
panied with nothing else but a good jonny-cake made 
a la Phillis of Rhode Island white corn meal, finely 
and slowly ground with Sherman & Town's (in North 
Kingstown) granite mill-stones, with some sweet but- 
ter that has never been within speaking distance of 
hell-compounded oleomargarine, than to have every- 
thing else on earth beside, minus good coffee. I may 
say further that in my experiences, I have ever found 
that those people who have a fine taste in coffee, have 
a cultivated taste in everything else, including not only 
articles of food and drink, but all the works of nature 
and art, of whatever degree and kind, including sculp- 
ture and painting, poesy and love-making. I may just 
say before going farther into the main subject of this 
"baking," that one of the best cups of coffee I ever 
[ S66 ] 


drank was on an occasion when I happened to stay all 
night at the house of Sammy Holden, a plain, unpre- 
tending old farmer, who lived in the northern part 
of Narragansett, and was by many regarded as one of 
the oddest and most outlandish men in Rhode Island. 
When I drank my coffee that morning at his house, 
I made up my mind that Sammy Holden was not 
properly appreciated by his neighbors, and so I insti- 
tuted an investigation of his manner of life and its sur- 
roundings. His farm, I found, consisted of about sev- 
enty-five acres of rather indifferent or poor natural soil, 
but which he had in some way made much more pro- 
ductive than most of his neighbors. His family con- 
sisted, besides himself, of a neat, tidy looking wife, a 
grown-up daughter, and two plain but manly looking 
sons. His house wasof one story only, but pretty roomy, 
and was kept in prime order, both within and without, 
as was everything on his farm. The house was situated 
on a beautiful gently ascending slope, and protected on 
the north and west by a wood-lot containing about one- 
third of his farm, say twenty-five acres. His barn, corn- 
crib, sheep-shed, poultry house, granary, work-shop, 
wood-shed, and some other small buildings were so 
arranged that with the dwelling-house they inclosed a 
contiguous oblong hollow square (the house fronting 
south on the south side of the square) of some eighty 
by sixty feet in dimensions that seemed almost imper- 
vious to any winds. There was a copious, ever-living 
spring of the purest water in Holden 's wood-lot, suffi- 
ciently elevated to allow his bringing the water under 
ground in wooden pipes to his house and barn, from 
whence it was distributed in other directions, so that 

C 367 ] 


there was no occasion of seeking for water elsewhere, 
either for the use of his family or farming stock. Nor 
in severe winter was it necessary for any one of his 
household to expose themselves to the inclemency of 
the weather, everything necessary for their comfort as 
well as that of his farm stock being comprised within 
the buildings and cellars opening on the quadrangular 
space before described, on one side of which was a cov- 
ered way leading to the wood-house, crib, and barn, 
which last-named building was capacious enough to 
contain all the hay and other fodder raised on the farm. 
The whole of the comfortable buildings I have de- 
scribed, I learned had not cost the odd old man to ex- 
ceed six hundred dollars, excluding the timber, boards, 
and shingles procured from his own woods, and the 
labor of himself and sons thereon. Mr. Holden's farm- 
ing stock consisted of four cows, a pair of oxen, one 
good, gentle mare from which he occasionally reared 
a colt, four or five young cattle with which to replenish 
the neat stock as the older ones were from time to time 
sold off; a breeding sow and pigs, some twenty-five ewe 
sheep, and a sufficient number of geese, turkeys, ducks, 
and farm fowls to supply the family bounteously with 
poultry and eggs and leave quite a surplus to send to 
Newport markets. He also fatted every fall some five 
or six pigs, about half of which were consumed in his 
own family and the balance sold. One of the peculiari- 
ties that caused Holden to be considered odd was that 
he always permitted his hogs to run at large, for the 
reason as he said that the flesh of swine treated in that 
way was perfectly free from the elements that impart 
scrofula to the human system , in which opinion I agree 
C 368 ] 


with the old man. Mr. Holden sold but little of his wool 
in a raw state, his wife and daughter spinning a good 
portion of it into linsey-woolsey, sheep's gray cloth, for 
men's wear, blankets, flannels, and knit stockings, for 
the surplus of which, after supplying the family wants, 
a market was found in the neighborhood or in New- 
port. When Mr. Holden and his sons cut and laid in 
their winter's firewood, they saved all the timber and 
good sticks suitable to make rails, yokes, ox-bows, fork 
stails, etc., which they worked on and finished mostly 
in the winter in a shop well supplied with the neces- 
sary tools, to which was also attached a little smithy, 
he and his boys doing their horse-shoeing and repair- 
ing of farming tools themselves. 

I found another reason why Mr. Holden was con- 
sidered odd was because when he or his boys went 
fishing or elsewhere about the country, it was their 
habit to put a box into the horse-cart in which they 
rode, and as often as they saw an old bone, leather 
shoe, or woolen rag in the road or on the sea-shore, one 
of them would get out of the cart and throw it into the 
box. In the winter time these bones were pounded up 
and togedier with the woolen rags, old shoes, etc. , were 
composted with muck and barn manure and put on 
the corn-field, which, as the old man and boys said, 
caused a great increase of the crop of corn, besides 
affording a needed fertilizer for the soil, the good ef- 
fects of which were observable for years. Every fall 
and spring Mr. Holden and one of his boys were ac- 
customed to go to Newport, taking with them what 
things they had made in their work-shop in the win- 
ter, and the cloth, flannel, stockings, etc., that the wife 

C 369 n 


and daughter had manufactured out of the wool and 
flax raised on the farm not needed for family use. 
These things they found no difficulty in selling at 
fair prices or exchanging for necessary supplies; for 
everybody in Newport knew that whatever came from 
"Holden, the Odd" was of the best quality. Among 
the supplies procured in the fall was always quite a 
number of interesting and instructive books to be read 
aloud by one of the family during the long winter even- 
ings. Another reason why Holden was held to be odd 
was that when any of his poor neighbors, through sick- 
ness, accident, or inefficiency, got behind in their farm 
work, he and his boys, who were always fully up to 
their farm work and never hurried, used to go with- 
out saying nary a word, and hoe out their unlucky 
neighbor's corn, potatoes, or what not, that they saw 
suffering, or mayhap mow and put up his hay or oats. 
Or if it were in the winter season, they would see that 
the poor neighbor's farming stock was well cared for. 
Nor was the old man or his sons ever known to speak 
a word concerning such free offerings outside their own 
family, which to most of the neighbors seemed very 
odd indeed. Upon the whole, after finding out what I 
could of old Holden and family, I made up my mind 
that the more such odd men as he there were in the 
world, the better it would be for all mankind, and the 
brute creation to boot ; for whilst the last would always 
be sure of kind and gentle treatment, were all the people 
on earth like the Holdens, they would be ten times 
more comfortable than millions are now; whilst all 
the money now spent for jails, penitentiaries, criminal 
courts, churches, and gallows might be saved. 
C 370 ] 


Now that I have got the preface to my narrative 
about how Phillis, my grandfather's stupendously 
wonderful colored cook, came to be the remote cause of 
the French Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI 
and Marie Antoinette, I mean after my return from 
Narragansett, where I expect to go to-morrow, to re- 
commence my narrative of those astonishing events 
in another baking of the jonny-cake, and perhaps get 
through in one paper with telling all about how it came 
to pass. 

C 371 2 

Twenty-sixth Baking 

I HAVE just returned from Narragansett, where I 
think I intimated in my last baking I was about 
to go, before finishing up these highly interesting and 
instructive reminiscences of the "olden jonny-cake 
times," by a recital of the way in which Phillis, my 
grandfather's world-renowned colored cook, came to 
be, as before hinted, the "remote cause of the French 
Revolution, and the death of Louis XVI and Marie 
Antoinette," which I intend to do in this baking, and 
have done with it — come what will ! But before pro- 
ceeding, I will just say that the month of October, as 
a general rule (as everybody worth knowing knows) , 
is just the divinest month in the whole twelve months 
of the year in Rhode Island, and more especially in 
the southern coast of its vast domain, which was for- 
merly known as Atlantis, the delightful summer resort 
of the gods and goddesses of antiquity. Well, it so hap- 
pened that early in the afternoon of the most exqui- 
site day in that exquisite month, Anno Domini 1880, 
I found myself seated on what is known as the Flat 
Rock, situated about a mile south of the old (or north) 
Pier on my brother Joe's farm (called Sea Side), con- 
gratulating myself upon having done in my last bak- 
ing, once for all, with the fish of Narragansett, and en- 
joying to the full the magnificent never-tiring beauties 
of the ocean and the adjacent unequaled scenery, in 
front of where I reclined. Scattered hither and thither 
all over the broad surface of the amphitheatrical-shaped 
rock that slopes gently to the rolling billows that have 
C 372 ] 


ever murmured or roared around its base for countless 
eternities, were groups of summer visitors of all ages, 
sizes, and of both sexes, whilst on a projecting point 
of the rock stood an old fisherman trolling for striped 
bass. As I sat admiring the dexterity with which he 
hooked and brought by degrees a fifty pounder to the 
edge of the rock and there kept the big fish in play until, 
taking advantage of an extra huge swelling breaker, 
the experienced old man landed his prey high on the 
rock, I naturally thought to myself and wondered 
whether or no the gods in past times, when they spent 
their summers in Atlantis, ever indulged in the grand 
sport of trolling for striped bass. Scarcely had my 
thoughts indulged in the surmise, ere I felt a gentle 
benumbing influence stealing over my senses akin to 
sleep, but yet it could not have been an ordinary slum- 
ber, for my natural senses seemed to be wonderfully 
quickened and clothed with powers far exceeding those 
I possessed in my waking moments. Casting my eyes 
southerly, I observed a gigantic figure standing on 
Indian Rock, which, by a sort of semi-divine affla- 
tus, I knew on sight to be no other than Neptune, the 
god of the sea and horses. Securing firm foothold near 
the seaward edge of the rock with his trident, Neptune 
successively harpooned more than one five-hundred 
pound porpoise as they came rearing and plunging 
along on the gallop like so many sea-horses, and with 
his strong arms tossed them one after another clean 
across Pint Judy, a distance of more than two miles, 
into the Salt pond, into which they fell with a splash 
that would upset a dozen canoes and a catouse loud 
enough to be heard way up to Grinnage. What I then 

C 373 ] 


and there saw enables me to correct a mistake in 
mythological history which records that the reason 
why Neptune was called ' ' god of the sea and horses ' ' 
grew out of the indisputable fact that he once struck 
the ground somewhere in ancient Attica, in Greece, 
and out jumped a full-fledged horse which, transported 
to Hispania (now Spain), became the sire of a race of 
pacing horses unequaled in speed and easy gait by any 
horses in the world. That such a race of horses did 
exist is true ; but their reputed origin is all a myth. My 
maternal grandfather, Governor William Robinson, 
perceiving that the race of Narragansett pacers had 
much deteriorated since the gods, who first brought 
them from Hispania, had been forced to abandon Atlan- 
tis, owing to the invasion of the Connecticut blue-law 
Presbyterians on one side, and the Quakers and witch- 
hanging Puritans of Massachusetts on two of the re- 
maining sides of Rhode Island, made a new importa- 
tion from Andalusia, in Spain, of the precious animals, 
the progeny of which finally became extinct in Nar- 
ragansett, for the reason that the rich Virginian and 
West Indian planters, who used to attend with their 
fast horses the annual races in Narragansett, succeeded 
in buying up and taking away every mare of the breed . 
Experience, however, has proved that such was the 
delicate formation and texture both in body and spirit of 
this wonderful race of Narragansett pacers, that they 
could not prosper anywhere in America outside of the 
Narragansett country, the Ancient Atlantis, where the 
balmy Gulf Stream breezes ever blow and impart to 
the ambrosia and other cereals and vegetable produc- 
tions, a fineness of texture and flavor nowhere else to be 

C 374 ] 


found on this terraqueous globe. Thus, owing to a con- 
glomeration and confusion of ideas, such as attaches 
moreor less to the writers of all history, whether sacred, 
mythical, or profane, Neptune became dubbed as ' ' god 
of the sea and horses" because of the Attic myth of 
his causing a horse to arise from the earth by striking 
it with a trident (which was not his element at all, by 
the by), when the truth is Neptune derived the appel- 
lation from the fact that he was addicted on occasion 
of his spending his summers on the rocky shores of 
Atlantis to striking his trident, not upon the ground, 
but upon thesea, and raising therefrom huge porpoises, 
or sea-horses, and tossing them in sport a mile high 
above the earth, and two miles away into the Salt pond. 
Neptune's appropriate title should undoubtedly be the 
God of the Sea and Sea-Horses, viz. : porpoises. 

And now I saw approaching from landward the 
most splendid human form that I ever laid eyes on, 
a long curly auburn haired, beardless youth, faultless 
in form and feature, and graceful beyond compare in 
person, attitude, and motion. He wore a laurel crown 
and shining garments, and held in his right hand a bow 
and arrows, with a shield and harp in his left, and a 
coiled fishing-line thrown over his shoulders. As he 
approached, he laid the shield and harp on the rock, 
from whence instantly issued the divinest music. I 
knew him at once to be no other than Apollo, the glo- 
rious god of Rhetoric, Music, and Poetry. He was at- 
tended by nine beautiful celestial females, each hold- 
ing in her hand an instrument of music, such as the 
harp, the cithera, the psaltery, the pipe, and the cym- 
bal. They all seated themselves gracefully on the rock, 

[ 375 H 


and commenced playing on the instruments, accom- 
panying the performance with voices so sweet that 
in the tout ensemble the fishes of the sea drew near in 
great numbers, and leaped in ecstasy from their briny 
element. These attendants on Apollo I knew at once to 
be the nine Muses, the patrons of the sciences, music, 
and poetry, and presiders over the feasts and solemni- 
ties of the gods. Taking his stand on the rock near to 
the sea, Apollo laid his bow and arrows down some ten 
or twelve feet behind him, and then placing his coiled 
line carefully on the rock beside him, he disengaged the 
golden sinker and hook, and swinging the line artis- 
tically several times round and round, sent it on its 
course, whizzing like a sky-rocket, full five miles to sea. 
Twice the god thus threw and trolled in his line with- 
out a bite, but on the third trial, a huge, two-hundred 
pounder struck the bait and was hooked. Talk about 
your miserable modern ways of reeling in a twenty- 
pound bass by machinery, to save labor indeed! Such 
sportsmen should have seen the fisher-god bring that 
two-hundred pounder home hand-over-hand, with his 
sturdy arms alone, and land him safely on the rock 
beside him, and then hide their heads in shame. With 
all Apollo's skill, dexterity, and strength, it was a work 
of time. Having plenty of sea-room, the prince of fish 
would make a semi-circle gyration of several miles, 
with one end of the arc at Beaver Tail and the other 
near Pint Judy Pint, cutting the water of the ocean in 
twain with the sizzling line, like a two-edged sword, 
as it passed to and fro. But all this time the distance 
between the god and his prey was slowly growing less 
and less, and after half an hour's playing, the mon- 

l .-no- n 


strous bass was dextrously landed on the top of a big 
incoming wave, safely high and dry on the rock. Al- 
though the delightful vision lasted but just fifty-nine 
minutes by my watch, the space of forty Journals, each 
with a supplement, would not suffice to tell of the glo- 
rious things I next saw, beginning with a regatta, in 
which the goddess Aurora led the van, coming from 
the east in her chariot of gold, drawn by white horses, 
so fleet of foot that they dallied not long enough in their 
course to make the slightest impress on the surface of 
the waters they spurned, her charioteer Phoebus bend- 
ing forward at an angle of forty-five degrees, so as to 
maintain his position, directly under the accompany- 
ing bright morning star, with the twelve morning hours 
in beautiful female costume, gracefully marching in 
quick succession by her side, followed by all the celes- 
tial and terrestrial gods and goddesses and their nu- 
merous retinues, together with the gods of the woods 
and the sea, not even excluding the infernal gods, led 
on by Pluto (who, however, I observed, were, for some 
cause, required by Jupiter to keep within the bound- 
aries of Massachusetts, in Buzzard's Bay), the pro- 
cession continuing until, far as the eye could reach on 
every side, the gently rippling ocean was covered with 
thousands of yachts, galleys, and other marine con- 
veyances, in comparison with the meanest of which, 
Cleopatra's barge would look like a mud scow, and so 
on to a magnificent tournament, presided over by the 
god Mars, that came off on the Narragansett beach, 
north of the Pier, to a closing reception given by the 
goddess Venus, who presented her cards with her 
own hands, from her ivory chariot, drawn by swans 

. C 377 ] 


and doves, as she made her circuit attended by two 
cupids, three graces, and her train-bearer, Adonis, all 
Pint Judy being in those halcyon days, one immense 
variegated parterre and flower garden, park and plea- 
sure ground, full of beautiful bowers, labyrinthine 
walks, broad avenues, tall, spreading trees loaded with 
the most fragrant and beautiful flowers and fruits, 
amidst which millions of fairies, singing birds, and 
angels were ever warbling forth notes so varied and 
divine that any prima donna now on earth, could she 
once catch the echo of such music, would go hang 
herself out of envy, spite, and despair. 

And so all closed, with a mock battle between Jupi- 
ter on one side and Neptune and iEolus on the other, 
Jupiter flashing forth in quick succession his lightning- 
driven thunderbolts from his throne on a great black 
cloud overhanging the sea, just opposite where the 
South Pier now stands. Whilst Neptune and iEolus 
brought their united forces to bear on the wind and 
waves, until the sea was at times forced back ten and 
a half miles from the shore, leaving hundreds of whales, 
porpoises, and other monsters and fishes of the deep 
floundering amidst the sands and rocks that lay at the 
bottom; and then again forcing, through their united 
power, the waters skyward in one Alpine wave that 
roared the heaven-reverberating thunder of the father 
of the gods into silence, overleaped his cloud-encircled 
throne, dismantled and swept from their hoary battle- 
ments every gun of his red artillery, quenched his light- 
ning with the foaming deep, and hurled old Jupe him- 
self floundering from his thunder-cloud until hefotched 
up on top of one of Jimmy Robinson's sand-hills north 
C 378 ] 


of the Pier, where he lay sprawling like a big ten- 
year-old bull-frog, until old drunken Jim Phillips hap- 
pened to come staggering along that way and sot him 
on his pins agin, whereupon the gods and goddesses 
in Pint Judy, together with the thousands upon thou- 
sands of the lesser deities and retainers, sot up such a 
shout of laughter that I awoke with a start from my 
reverie, and vowed that, come what would and happen 
what might, then and there, I would go straight ahead 
in a down-grade train in spite of all the heathen gods 
and goddesses in heaven, earth, and hell, and without 
turning to the right or to the left, tell the Journal how 
it came to pass that Phillis, my grandfather's never- 
to-be-forgotten heaven-inspired colored cook, came to 
be the "remote cause of the French Revolution, and 
the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette." 

So, to be brief, it was after this wise: premising that 
the facts were related to me in confidence, when but 
a small boy just out of petticoats, by my grandfather's 
old colored man-of-all-work, Mose, who, as I have be- 
fore said, was a personage of such singular veracity, 
that I have not a doubt in my mind, but what his 
story is as much to be relied upon in point of facts, 
taken literally, as that written by his great prototype 
in the book of Genesis. So here goes : "Once upon a 
time," so said Mose, as he sat in the kitchen corner 
one cold evening in January, toasting his feet before 
Aunty Phillis' big blazing fire: "Once upon a time, 
the Dolphin of France and the Prince of Whales of 
Hingland both fell desprit in love with "Rio, Tonet, the 
bootiful darter of old Jule Caesar, King of Rome. 'Ria 
was en 'y jest the bootifulest gal in the whole world out- 
C 379 ] 


side of 'Gansett, and one Sunday night, when the Dol- 
phin and Whales were both settin' up with ''Ria, the 
Dolphin down on his knees and swore by Saint Peter, 
Saint Paul, and Saint Dennis, that if ' Ria would n't 
promise to marry him, he would blow his brains out 
that very blessed night ! En'y jest arter the Dolphin 
swore this, down went Whales on his marrow-bones 
afore 'Ria, and swore by St. George and the Lion and 
the Unicorn, that if she would n't 'sent to stand up in 
Quaker meetin' with him, he would go straight out 
of the kitchen door and drown hisself in her Daddy's 
well ! What to do, poor ''Ria did n't know ! But jist then 
she thought of somethin' ! ''Ria was mighty fond of 
parfooms, so she told Whales and Dolphin that which 
ere one of um brought her the nicest smelling par- 
foom the next Christmas night, should have her ! So 
airly nex' morning Whales and Dolphin both started 
afore sunrise for hum. Whales lived in Lunnon and 
Dolphin in Paris. When Whales got hum and told his 
dad what ''Ria, old Jule's bootiful darter, had prom- 
ised, he gave his son two thousand dollars and told 
him to go straight to the King of Parsia and tell him 
that he wanted him to get a big vial chuck full of the 
sweetest smelling Hotto that could be 'stilled out of 
roses and never mind the cost if it was as much as 
a t'ousand dollars. So Whales took his two t'ousand 
dollars in his saddle-bags and started off a-horseback 
to get the parfoom for ''Ria. Whales had just got to Par- 
sia and made a bargain with the King to have a big 
vial of parfoom made out of the inside leaves of the 
Hotto rose, they being the best smelling of any of the 
rose leaves by a gret sight, when along cum the Dol- 
t 380 j 


phin riding on his mule. The Dolphin told the King 
of Parsia how his dad, the King of France, had sent 
him a bag holding two thousand francs to pay him for 
a vial of the sweetest smelling Hotto that could be got 
in all Parsia. So soon as the King of Parsia found out 
that two t'ousand francs were n't half so much money 
as the t'ousand dollars was that Whales had paid him 
for his vial of Hotto, then he told his women folks to 
'still the Dolphin's Hotto out of the outside leaves. The 
Dolphin did n't find out how he had been cheated till 
all the roses in Parsia had died for that year, and so 
Whales told the Dolphin he guessed he need n't go to 
see ''Ria no more, for the Hotto he had made was from 
the rose leaves that growed right round the heart of 
the Hotto rose that were a t'ousand times sweeter as 
them that grow'd on the outside. When the Dolphin 
found out how badly he was 'posed on, he was just 
the maddest and miserablest critter you ever seed, and 
'clared out and out, that he would never go back to 
see ''Ria agin, nor hum nuther, but would go to Injy 
and get passage in a ship for 'Meriky, and turn into 
a wild Injun. So poor Dolphin got his mule saddled 
and bid the King of Parsia good-bye, and started off, 
and after two months' riding got to Bombay, where old 
Nick Brown' 's (of Providence) East Indy ship, named 
the ' Mount Hope,' was just about starting for Rhode 
Island, aboard which the Dolphin and his mule got a 
passage to 'Meriky, in 'GansettBay." Mose said that 
he was just cutting his night's wood one mornin' on 
a chilly afternoon in October, when he saw the for- 
lornest looking critter comin' down the lane on a mule 
that he ever sot. eyes on. When he got to the wood- 

c s8i n 


pile, Mose said he axed him if the 'Gansett Injuns 
lived about them parts. Mose told him that there was 
plenty of niggars lived in them parts, but that the 
'Gansett Injuns lived way down in Charlestown, ten 
miles furder on the road. Just then, Mose said, Massa 
Hazard came out the kitchen door, and after a while 
axed the forlorn-looking critter to go into the house. 
So he went in and sot down by the fire to warm hisself . 
Arter a while Massa Hazard axed him to go into the 
gret-room with him. So the poor, forlorn-looking skar- 
crow did as he was told. What the poor critter said 
to Massa Hazard, Mose said he did n't know, but he 
never seed Massa Hazard so perlite to any strange man 
before in all his life, as he was to him all at onct. 
Missus Hazard, too, came out in the kitchen and told 
Phillis to make jest the goodest jonny-cakes and muf- 
fins for tea as she would if she was making 'em for a 
prince, and be sure to spare no pains in her coffee next 
morning for breakfast. When bed-time come, Marga- 
ret showed the strange man into the gret-room cham- 
ber, where Missus Hazard only let her grand company 
sleep. In the morning when the poor critter comedown- 
stairs and sot down to the breakfast table so as to be 
ready to drink Phillis' coffee jest so soon as it was boiled, 
Abe said he never seed in all his life such a dumb- 
founded looking skarcrow as the poor critter was until 
he begun to smell the parfoom of Aunt Phillis' coffee 
through the cracks in the kitchen door, when all at 
onct he seemed to grow ten years younger than he was 
afore. When the coffee-pot was brought in and Mar- 
garet poured out a cup of coffee for the stranger, he guv 
it one sniff with his nose and then took a big vial out 
C 382 1 


of his pocket that was sealed tight with wax, and arter 
taking off the wax with his knife and prying out the 
cork with his fork, he handed the vial to Missus Haz- 
ard and axed her if she would do him the favor to 
pour that stuff that was in the vial into her slop-bowl. 
Instead of pouring it into the slop-bowl, Missus Haz- 
ard poured it out into a coffee-cup, when the whole 
room was filled with the bootiful parfoom, Mose said, 
of Hotto o' Roses. When Missus Hazard handed the 
empty vial back to the stranger, he went to work and 
filled it with his teaspoon with coffee from his cup. Jist 
so soon as he had got his vial full, the critter got up 
from the table without eating a mouthful, and went to 
his bed-room and brought down his saddle-bags, out 
of which he took some red beeswax and sealed up the 
vial so tight that not a drop of air could get in or out 
of it. He then told Massa Hazard that he would do him 
a great favor if he would have his mule saddled a little 
quicker than no time, so that he might start right back 
to Newport, where he came from the day before, and 
where a ship was about to sail for Marseilles in France, 
where he wanted to go without a minute's loss of time. 
Mose said that he brought the mule to the door all sad- 
dled and bridled, and tied the stranger's bundle of close 
on behind the saddle, when he mounted, and handing 
him a pistareen and bidding all a hurried good-bye, 
he started right away for Franklin's Ferry, where a 
boat lay ready to go, as it happened, at the wharf, 
which the critter jumped his mule, and went aboard 
straight away to Conanicut Ferry wharf, and so over 
the island and across the ferry to the down-town ferry 
wharf in Newport, near where the French ship named 

C 383 ] 


" Parly voo" lay that was bound to Marseilles, and which 
sailed about one hour after the Dolphin of France, 
for such he heered arterwards was the princely title of 
the poor forlorn stranger, got his mule histed on board. 
As good luck would have it, Mose said he heered the 
ship had an oncommon short voyage, and jest so soon 
as she anchored in the harbor at Marseilles, the Dol- 
phin jumped a-horseback on his mule, and then right 
overboard and swum ashore, nor did he stop to dry his 
clothes, but started right away for old Jule Qesar's 
house, the King of Rome, with all the speed and jist 
as fast as his mule could go. Mose said the Dolphin 
didn't reach ole Jule's until 9 o'clock on Christmas 
Eve, when he arrived just as Whales had took 'Ria's 
hand in his and had just stood up to be published 
by the Pope of Rome, so as to be married next day. 
Mose said that just as soon as the Dolphin got sight 
of what was going on, he hollered out," You jist stop 
that nonsense all on you, till you see what I have got to 
say to 'Ria," when suiting the action to the word, he 
hauled out of his breeches pocket the vial of Phillis' 
coffee, and after taking out the stopple with his jack- 
knife, jest put it right under 'Ria's nose. Up to that 
time Mose said 'Ria had Whales' vial of otto clinched 
in her right hand, which ever now and then she took 
a sniff from, but after smelling Aunt Phillis' coffee, 
the otto was so dreadfully bad smelling that she jist 
slatted it into Whales' 1 face and eyes, telling him all the 
time she wanted no more of his nasty stinking otto, 
nor him nother, and the best thing he could do would 
be to leave her daddy's house at onct, as she did n't 
want him there bothering her and her dear Dolphin any 

C 384 ] 


longer. Ole Jule told Whales, too, that he had better 
clear out and go right home to his daddy and mammy, 
for he never did like him from the moment he first set 
eyes on his ugly pug-nosed phiz. So Whales went to 
his bed-room and packed his things in his saddle-bags 
right away, and started for hum in Lunnon without 
bidding anybody good-bye. So 'Ria, Mose said, mar- 
ried the Dolphin the next morning. But, after she had 
got out of bed, 'Ria's waiting-maid came to the door 
of her chamber and told 'Ria that Whales had come 
back agin and was then in the back yard axing about 
some of his things that he had forgot. Upon this Mose 
said 'Ria got straight out of bed and went to the back 
window and asked Whales what on airth he wanted 
so airly in the morning? Whales told 'Ria that he had 
come back arter his red and yaller-spotted silk ban- 
danna hankicher that he had forgot under his pillow, 
and his yaller nankeen umbril. Upon this 'Ria went 
and got Whales' hankicher and throw 'd it out of the 
winder to him, telling him at the same time that it 
was half cotton and not all silk as he wanted to make 
folks b'leve — and that he had better get his mammy 
to wash it as soon as he got hum, as it was dredful 
nasty. As for his yaller umbril, 'Ria said she could n't 
find it and did n't b'leve he ever left one there ! Whales 
said that he put his yaller umbril in the poke-hole side 
of the fireplace. So 'Ria went and found the umbril in 
the poke-hole and throwed it out to Whales, and wanted 
to know why the darned fool put his yaller nankeen 
umbril in that poke-hole for? Whales told 'Ria he put 
it in the poke-hole to keep it out of sight, becas he 
knowed the Dolphin would steal it. This made 'Ria 

r. 385 n 


awful mad, and she hollered to Whales if he didn't 
clareout at once, and never show his ugly face in her 
Daddy's house agin, she would set her Daddy's dog 
on him. As TV hales was getting over the fence to go 
away, 'Ria called to him and told him not to go and 
tell everybody that some of her folks broke them two 
sticks in his yaller umbril, for she had took notice that 
they were broke the fust day he showed his ugly nose in 
her Dad's house. Mose said that next morning, arter 
an airly breakfast, the Dolphin took 'Ria up behind him 
on his mule's crupper and started for hum in Paris. 
The Dolphin's mule did n't know how to go easy, 
Mose said, "like the 'Gansett pacers, and trotted so 
hard that 'Ria shwore by St. Bridget she would n't go 
a step furder without the Dolphin would buy her a pil- 
lion to ride on ! So the Dolphin went round all the fore- 
noon to look up an old pillion that he could buy cheap. 
After a while he found an old farmer who had a pretty 
good pillion that he had no 'casion for, as his old woman 
had died that used to ride on it, and didn't know as 
he should ever git anuther. The farmer asked three 
dollars for the pillion, but arter bartering an hour he 
took up Louis' offer of two dollars and a harf. So the 
Dolphin and 'Ria started ag'in, and in about fourteen 
days got to Paris, just a week before the Dolphin's 
daddy died, and the Dolphin and 'Ria were crowned 
by the Pope, King and Queen of France. When 'Ria 
got to be Queen she sent all over Paris to find some 
French cook that could make coffee like Phillis', but 
she could n't find any that could hold a dipped candle 
to Phillis. This spiled 'Ria's temper and made her so 
mad that she cut such didoes that Bonaparte came 
C 386 ] 


along, ' ' Mose said, as he had hearn say, ' ' and hanged 
Louis and 'Ria with a green grapevine, across a ten 
foot Varginny zig-zag rail fence, Louis on one side 
and 'Ria on t' other." 

The readers of the Journal are all aware of the dread- 
ful revolution that preceded and followed the death of 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, so that I need not 
weary them with any further details. Should any cap- 
tious bipeds feel disposed to find fault with my endeav- 
ors to redeem my pledge to tell how Phillis, my grand- 
father's never-enough-to-be-praised colored cook came 
to be the ' ' remote cause of the French Revolution, and 
the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette," or to 
insinuate that I have brought my story to a lame and 
impotent conclusion, I hope they will charge a part of 
the blame to Mose, rather than all to Shepherd Tom. 

('•■,. .', •'■ 

Stout Jeffrey Hazard's 

Stout Jeffrey Hazard lifted this Stone, 
In pounds just sixteen twenty one, 
In South Kingstown he lived and died, 
God save us all from sinful Pride. 


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Note I, page 36. 

General Charles R. Brayton served with distinction in the Civil 
War, and was made Postmaster of Providence. The gallant offi- 
cer was a strong partisan in politics, losing his office through the 
discovery of his misuse of Government moneys for election ex- 
penses of the party. He later studied law, became attorney for 
many powerful corporations, and eventually was known as the 
political boss of Rhode Island. The loss of his eyesight seemed to 
strengthen his grip on politics. Tall, strongly framed, and mas- 
sive, he had a contempt for weaker men. His sangfroid was well 
illustrated in his later years when, under severe criticism as a 
machine politician, he addressed his fellow delegates in a political 
convention in Pawtucket as "Friends and Fellow Machinists." 

Note 2, page 44. 

Amongst the rare treats to be found on Friend Almy's table were 
large Spanish olives. On one occasion, when a country Friend from 
the Main (as all other parts of Rhode Island were called in con- 
tradistinction to the Island of Aquidneck) was a guest, he, being 
very fond of plums, and sure that he saw a dish of green gages 
before him, helped himself without comment, but, after one taste, 
said to his amused host, "Excuse me, friend, if I put this plum 
back; it's spiled." 

Note 3, page 50. 

The wells in Washington County often seem to bubble, but not 
from air or gas. An underground river flows under much of this 
blessed land, so that the surface of the water is dimpled, as any one 
can see for himself, if he but look down the right well. 

Note 4, page 86. 

This childlike faith was a striking characteristic of Shepherd Tom 
in his dealings with mediums in later life. Moreover, in his matur- 
ity, there was no "Abe" to inject a doubt. He scorned any ques- 
tion, no matter what its origin, and accepted as gospel truth state- 
ments quite as fantastic as that made by "Mose." 

' C 391 1 


Note 5, page 90. 

"Metcalf Bowler was born in England in 1726. Emigrated to 
America in early manhood and settled in Rhode Island. For nine- 
teen years he was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. For six years 
he was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court. For one year, Chief 
Justice. He, with Flenry Ward, was a delegate from the Colonies 
in 1745. He kept a four-in-hand, and had two houses, — his town 
house, now known as the Vernon Mansion in Newport, and his 
country house at Portsmouth, now known as the Chase Farm. He 
prided himself on his well-tilled garden and farm, and was one of 
the few men in Colonial days who had a greenhouse. He wrote 'A 
Treatise on Agriculture and Practical Husbandry,' and speaks of 
it to the 'candid reader' as the production of some leisure hours. 
He introduced the now famous Rhode Island Greening into Amer- 
ica. The first tree was grown on his Portsmouth farm. The seed 
came from Persia. He is supposed to have brought it home, after 
being shipwrecked in China. Other accounts say that, knowing his 
taste for gardening, one of his sea captains brought him a cutting 
which he developed. He gave a great entertainment in Newport to 
the friends of liberty to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act in 
1777. A portrait by Copley is said to be in the possession of John 
Lippitt Snow of Providence." Extracted from the Notes of Mrs. 
Robert Bonner Bowler. 

Note 6, page 111. 

Little Rest, that is, Kingston Village.. 

Note 7, page 111. 

Kingston Court House, where the Legislature sat, was also used as 
a Court House as late as 1 900, when the new Stone Court House 
at West Kingston was built. If Shepherd Tom had lived to see this 
pretentious new house built, we may be sure he would have drawn 
very uncomfortable inferences from the bad design and poor work- 
manship of the new building, which had a leaky roof, and, worst of 
all, a vault so badly contrived that it mildewed and rotted the records 
it was meant to protect. The old Court House was dignified, roomy, 
and capacious. Legislatures, Courts, and Town meetings were there 

I 392 ] 


assembled for more than one generation. It is now (1915) used by 
the people of Kingston as a public library. 

Note 8 , page 113. 

Recently known as the Lucca House, a gambrel-roofed, shingled 

house of generous proportions. Still in good repair in 1915. 

Note 9 , page 123. 

This form of the Wee wee woman tale is forgotten hereabouts. Was 
it told by his grandmother Peace, or Granny Hazard ? The former 
came from Barbados, and this may be the West Indian form. 

Note 10, page 131. 

This house was north of and across the street from the Wilkins 
Updike house, still standing (in 1915), and kept in perfect order 
by Mi's. Hunt (whose mother, Mrs. Richard K. Randolph, was 
an Updike) , who is greatly interested in all antiquarian lore. The 
James Helme house was last used as a dwelling by Fayerweathers, 
descendants, doubtless, of the slaves of the family of that name. In 
1900 the sagging ridge and bulging sides had made it a pictur- 
esque ruin, in which condition it still gave shelter to several fam- 
ilies, until finally taken down piecemeal in 1909. So solidly was 
it framed, however, that the razing of this old house was a long job 
and a costly. 

Note 1 1, page 132. 

Mat Waite was the son of a silversmith, John Waite, who wrought 
at his trade near upon a century ago. His father also was a worker 
in silver. John Waite was Captain of the South Kingstown Reds all 
through the War of the Revolution. Thescalesand some tools which 
belonged to him are preserved by his great-grandson, Benjamin 
Waite Case, of Wakefield, R. I. 

Note 12, page 133. 

This cotton manufactory, long since forgotten, was a small affair, 
even for those days. It stood on the westerly slope of the hill south- 
westerly from the Court House, near a beautiful spring of water 
which still gushes from the earth near what is now called Biscuit 
City. This spring gave a supply of water, used on an overshot wheel, 

C S93 ] 


some say thirty feet in diameter. The owners of this factory formed 
the first corporation in New England for the cotton manufac- 

Note 13, page 134. 

This list might be greatly extended. The speech of the South County 
is still quaint, though since the advent of the "summer boarder" 
(pronounced summer bowder) , much of its originality is lost. A few 
examples are: Driftway, first used of a pass way for teams between 
sand dunes, often applied to a wood path, or private road. To 
spread sea- weed suantly is to spread it evenly. Some still speak of 
a Robin, meaning a shirt. Hapharlots are still woven in South 
Kingstown, being a kind of coarse coverlet. If you ask the right 
man how he is feeling, he will perhaps answer that he is " some 
weller" to-day. The driver of a load of sea- weed will understand if 
you ask him "How 's the flight, heavy? " He may answer "Yes, 
quite heavy," or "Wall, no, rather short." The "flight of sea- 
weed" may sound odd, but it's orthodox in the South County; 
it applies to the mass of weed washed up on the beaches after a 

Note 14, page 138. 

The sketch of JoeRunnell's tavern will help to identify this famous 
resort. It is on the northerly side of the village street, but has not 
been used as a tavern since some years before the death of John N. 
Taylor in 1894. The present owner, Dr. Philip K. Taylor, changed 
the building into apartments, now used by teachers in the Rhode 
Island State College. Dr. Taylor himself prefers a berth as ship's 
doctor, and plies regularly between New York and West Indian 

Note 1 5, page 142. 

William B. Weeden tells of an English captain who was captured 
by a swarthy privateer, Captain Gazzee, of nondescript dress and 
outlandish rig, and brought a prisoner to East Greenwich Harbor. 
A bystander noticed the Englishman, who had borne himself bravely 
to that moment, furtively shedding bitter tears. On being asked the 
reason for his grief, he said he would not have cared if taken by 
a vessel of war, ending with, "but it 's more'n I can bear to be 

C 394 ] 


captured by a dam'd old squaw — in a hog trough." See Weeden's 
Early Rhode Island, page 340. 

Note 1 6, page 144. 

Besides the hot lemonade sweat, Shepherd Tom was firmly con- 
vinced of the merit of a cathartic pill, usually sold in small boxes 
of a dozen packed in powdered liquorice. He once gave me two 
of these to rout a cold I felt coming on. On my complaining the 
next morning of their too drastic effect, he said, " Why, two for a 
child is right, but I usually take a whole box myself." I believe 
this was literally true. Cf. Richard Ligon's True and Exact His- 
tory of the Island of Barbados. London, 1657. The Physic Nut, 
page 67. 

Note \7,page 146. 

Dr. Aldrich had a son Luke, who became an undertaker. He made 

the coffins himself, and buried them. Asked how his business throve, 

he answered solemnly, " Pretty good, thank 'ee, specially in short 


Note 18, page 148. 

The implacable hatred of Connecticut here breaks out with even less 
constraint than usual. The origin of this feeling dates back to the 
early settlement of the two states. Rhode Island was filled with a 
host of sectarians and free thinkers, individualists one and all. Con- 
necticut, on the other hand, was mostly settled by Presbyterians, 
who closely watched their neighbors in the effort to keep their own 
population orthodox. But the venom was often assumed in these 
Jonny-Cake Papers, though I can still see the gleam in Shepherd 
Tom's cold blue eye as he told some story to the discredit of Con- 

Note 19, page 154. 

Rodman's Mill, so called from Benny Rodman, who stuck his 
button wood switch into the mill-dam at Peace Dale. His grist-mill 
was near this mill-dam. 

Note 20, page 154. 

This lively allusion is to the long period after the Sprague failure 

during which the late Governor William Sprague held possession 

C 395 ] 


of Canonchet, at times by force of arms, even defying the officers 
of Court sent to take possession. He kept a force of armed sentries 
on duty for some months. 

Note 21, page 156. 

Asa Stedman. Asa's pond, the lowest Rocky Brook pond, was 

named for him ; now sometimes ignorantly corrupted to Lazy pond. 

Note 22, page 158. 

Of Kit Comstock a rural witticism is remembered. He was bald, 
quite completely so, but wore a flowing beard. When asked what 
had become of his hair, he would reply, ' ' Oh, I pulled it through, ' ' 
with a tug at his beard. 

Note 23, page 159. 

In this parenthesis, the feeling which once ran high between New- 
port and Providence shows clearly enough. Upon the one occasion 
when Uncle Tom spent a night with his nephew Rowland (here 
alluded to) , at his house in Providence, he demanded to know how 
it was possible to live in such an unheard-of place. On being given 
a big plate of hot Jonny-cakes, made by Isaac Rice, a very won- 
derful cook (with Indian blood in his veins) , he remarked that he 'd 
admit they would help a man to live contented anywhere, "even 
in Providence." 

Note 24, page 168. 

This casual mention of Sim Hazard, "the Narragansett Lawyer," 
leads naturally to regret that proofs of his acuteness are not given. 
But there is no room for doubt that a taste for the law was fostered 
in the region of which Little Rest was the centre. So lately as the 
year 1888 there was living on Pondhead Road one of these "sea 
lawyers, ' ' who , like unlettered Sim, loved to attend Court, knew the 
dates for regular and special term, and besides knew the docket of 
cases, and the names of counsel retained. This was George R., as 
honest a man as ever was born, quick-tempered but kind-hearted, 
just and fair but unyielding when imposed upon ; law abiding him- 
self, he was equally determined that others should respect the law. 
He loved the chance of a lawsuit as the pampered youth of to-day 
love a ticket to the Harvard-Yale football game. One day George's 
neighbor caught a little son of George's stoning his house, and 

1 396 n 


threatened to have the boy arrested. When George heard of it, he 
told his wife to forbid the sheriff if he tried to arrest the child, 
then only five years old, relying on an ancient rule of law prohibit- 
ing the arrest of minors under seven against the wish of parent or 
guardian. The sheriff came and arrested the boy next day against 
the protest of his mother, who had her mother behind the door as 

In due time the neighbor brought his suit, and Squire C. was 
retained by George to defend. Now Squire C. was held to be the 
ablest advocate in those parts, but feeling sure of his case, permitted 
the enemy to entertain him so freely that, when called on, he made 
so lame a defense that he lost the case. George paid him 820 for 
his services, and remarking that he would attend to the matter him- 
self, appealed to the higher Court. As soon as the neighbor heard 
Squire C. had been released, he retained him to appear for him when 
the appeal should come up. 

George R. obtained leave to argue his case, and told the facts 
so clearly and forcibly that he won his case without delay. It was 
a hot June day, the Judge had risen after adjourning Court, when 
George, grinning broadly, asked leave to speak a final word. The 
lawyers, Court, attendants, and spectators paused to listen. "Yer 
Honor," said George, his eyes gleaming, "I've heered of good 
lawyers losin' cases now 'n' then, but this is the fust time I ever 
heered of a good lawyer losin' both sides of the same case." 

Note 25, page 169. 

A bronze tablet let into the surface of this stone bears this legend : 

"Stout Jeffrey Hazard lifted this Stone, 
In pounds just sixteen twenty one, 
In South Kingstown he lived and died, 
God save us all from sinful Pride." 

Edward Everett Hale, President Noah Porter of Yale, and Mrs. 
Rowland Hazard of Oakwoods, mother of the present writer, were 
judges of the competition, when some twenty or more verses written 
to mark this blue stone were submitted to their decision. The judges 
had no clue to the authorship, and were perplexed by the excellence 
of the proposed inscriptions, finally agreeing upon this one here 
quoted, which proved to be the work of Rowland Hazard 8 , who 

C 397 H 


had the stone removed from Boston Neck to Oakwoods, where it 
still remains in this year of grace 1915. 

Note 26, page 178. 

Written about 1880. This desire, to test " railroad, bank, and other 
corporation thieves" by Mount's method, has found expression 
in the career of Roosevelt. The same idea now actuates the mob, 
which joins in a country- wide accusing cry, denouncing all corpo- 
rate activity, hounding the railroads to the point of extermination, 
heedless of the social and commercial paralysis that must follow a 
belief, however ill-founded, in wholesale and universal fraud. Vio- 
lent though he was, Shepherd Tom set bounds to his diatribes. He 
was more sane, more discriminating, than the audacious Colonel 
of Rough Riders. 

Note 27, page 179. 

For location of Caesar's Plain, consult the map. 

Note 28, page 180. 

Rochester was the official name of Little Rest before it was so called. 
This must be an error, one of the very few of its kind which occur 
in the Jonny-Cake Papers. 

Note 29, page 191. 

This allusion to the benefits coming through the Manufacturing In- 
dustries to the people should be considered in connection with Note 
24 (on page 168). It is an example of the exercise of sound sense, 
and renders unto Caesar that which is justly his. 

Note 30, page 191. 

Somewhat careful inquiry in New York and Rhode Island fails to 
reveal the name of either one of the consorts of "Sal Wilcox." 
That it is an incident based on fact is thought likely, but the 
name was very probably changed of set purpose ; a desire to avoid 
the penalty for libel doubtless combined with a prudence seldom 
practiced by Shepherd Tom to conceal the victim of his satire under 
a fictitious name. 

Note 31, page 210. 

Joseph M. Blake, the "Nestor of the Rhode Island Bar," had a son 

Charles, who was the author of a literary hoax, printed in the Ap- 

C 398 1 


pendix to this volume. Edward H. Hazard (brother to Dr. William 
H. Hazard, of Wakefield) was a contemporary of Shepherd Tom, 
and a clever lawyer of convivial habits ; he was often asked to write 
obituary notices for the Providence Journal. His style was discursive, 
but pleasing and very unique. Some one told Charles Blake that 
Lawyer Ned's style was ' ' inimitable. " " I '11 show you about that, ' ' 
said he, and forthwith wrote his own obituary, following the man- 
ner and style of Lawyer Ned "inimitably." So clever was the pre- 
tended obituary that when seen by Lawyer Ned, it so chagrined 
him that he vowed he would never write another obituary. 

Note 32, page 22 6. 

That this flight of fancy was mea'nt by Shepherd Tom as a satirical 
joke at his own expense is proved by the extravagant claims to per- 
sonal beauty here made. For one who was notably careless of appear- 
ances, and never gave a thought to physical grace, this sudden 
assumption of the role of Apollo must have appealed to that keen 
sense of the ludicrous with which the reader has become familiar. 
Forbes & Co. , of Boston, lithographers, cannot now furnish a copy 
of this portrait of Phillis. 

Note 33, page 237. 

This very obvious political satire, ludicrous though it may seem to 
some, was as venomous a thrust at ' ' President & Governor mak- 
ers " as T. R. H. could make it. He was greatly shocked and highly 
indignant over the Hayes-Tilden national election, and also was 
deeply disgusted at the ' ' counting out ' ' of the Rhode Island govern- 
orship of his nephew, Rowland Hazard, who in a three-sided elec- 
tion polled a plurality of the votes cast, but lost the election in the 
end when a Boss-ridden Legislature declared another candidate, 
who had actually fewer votes, elected by the General Assembly. 

Note 34, page 242. 

Tom Rodman's grog was held to be the best in the County. Squire 
Hooper and his old crony, Gran 'ther Holland, differed on this point 
alone, for Gran'ther Holland always upheld the peculiar merit of 
Elisha Watson's drink. These two rumsellers were keen rivals in 
the groggery business, both managing to keep their customers in 
debt, and in the end taking even their farms at forced sale. In short, 

C 399 2 


they were a precious pair. The story runs that one foggy summer 
morning, Gran'ther Holland sent word to Squire Hooper that it 
was a likely day to go tautogin' on Peaked Rock. They often fished 
together, and were the best of friends, quarreling only on the point 
of drink. So, taking their heavy chestnut saplin peeled poles, they 
went down to the Peaked Rock, then still standing upright on the 
ledge where Whimsy Cot, now the property of Mrs. Irving Fisher, 
of New Haven, stands overlooking die rock. The day turned out 
badly — hot and hotter till the sun burned off" the fog, so the tautog 
got shy and lay swinging in the tide waiting for the twilight ; the 
anglers lost their bait, and their tempers also ; now and then by 
chance they "stole" a chogset, pest of the tautog fisherman. Most 
of these wily thieves dropped back, and of course told their friends 
below, who was was after them. Afew were saved forthe frying-pan. 
No fish has a finer flavor, when properly fried. Along about noon 
Gran'ther Holland growled out, " Le's give up, and go on home, 
no use brilin' here any longer. ' " " All right, ' ' says Squire Hooper, 
"I '11 jest fish up my last crab." So he tied her on good and solid, 
and hadn't more'n got his line down when he felt a big one take 
holt, and bore down hard on his big pole, to hist him out. The 
big tautog, soon's he felt the pull, sung out with fright, "Chog- 
setties, who in hell has got hold of that thar dam pole? " "Squire 
Hooper! ole boy, Squire Hooper!" Hearing this, the big fish 
groaned out, ' ' Good-bye, boys, I guess I 'm a goner. I'll be to Tom 
Rodman's afore sunset." 

Note 3 5 , page 285. 

A copy of Comstock's "History," here copiously quoted, may be 
seen in the Rider Collection, now in the possession of Brown Uni- 
versity. It was an agreeable surprise to find this copy of a book 
thought by many to be apocryphal. Some have said that the whole 
of Cat Story No. 2 was an invention of Shepherd Tom's. The find- 
ing of a copy of Comstock's "History " sets at rest this moot point, 
and must fully establish the veracious character of the Jonny-Cake 
Papers as a whole ! The character designated by Comstock as 

"Mr.* " is undoubtedly " 'Lisha Garner, the Cat Inspector." 

While confirmatory and interesting most readers will find Shep- 
herd Tom's narrative much the clearer. 

[ 400 ] 


Note 36, page 305. 

As another opinion on this delicate point is held by the coastwise 
skippers, who often take horse mackerel on a standing troll-line, it 
may be mentioned here without prejudice. It is their belief that to 
be perfect a bluefish must be killed, split, and dried on a board set 
up in the weather rigging for at least one hour before being broiled. 
This treatment gives excellent results. 

Note 37, page 312. 

Many other stories of this tipsy fisher are still rife in Narragansett. 
He had coal black hair like his brother Reuben. Both were expert 
fishermen. John used to say, "A gallon o' rum will go furder in my 
family than a bushel o' meal. ' ' He, like other men, often made good 
resolutions. As he neared the corner where he usually got his rum, 
he was overheard muttering, as he staggered from one side of the 
road to the other, ' ' Stiddy on her helium, John ; 'member yer raser- 
lution. Yekin git by if ye don't have to fetch more 'n one more tack. 
Hold 'er hard now, you 'm most fetched by. 'Member yer raserlu- 
tion."Then, as he actually did pass the grog-shop corner, — "Thar 
now, what'd I tell ye, ye've fotched by, now ye can go back and 
treat yer raserlution ! ' ' Like John, his brother, Captain Reuben, was 
commonly three sheets in the wind. One spring day, in crossing the 
Hundred acres, he fell over a wall, pulling down some top stones 
with him. One of these fell on his face, smashing his big nose and 
stunning him. He lay there all night, while two or three inches of 
snow turning to rain fell. Captain Richard Crandall found him next 
day flat on his back ; the snow had melted on face and hands, and 
as Captain Richard stood looking down, Captain Reuben opened 
one eye. " Wall, Cap'n Reuben," said Captain Richard, " you 'm 
abaout ruined, ain't ye ? " " Why yus, Cap'n Richard. I've abaout 
broke my cherry-picker off." 

Note 38, page 322. 

"Superb " is an adjective chosen in compliment to the press of the 
Newport Mercury. The book is a modest volume, now very scarce, 
and contains many unclassified anecdotes, as well as somewhat 
sketchy biographical details of the Hazard, Robinson, and Sweet 
families in Narragansett. In full the title reads: 

Recollections of Olden Times : / Rowland Robinson of Narragan- 

C 401 1 


sett and his unfortu-/nate daughter, /With Genealogies of the Rob- 
inson, Hazard, and Sweet /Families of Rhode Island./ By/ Thomas 
R. Hazard, / "Shepherd Tom," / in his eighty-first and eighty-sec- 
ond years. /Also Genealogical Sketch of the Hazards of the Middle 
States / By Willard P. Hazard / of Westchester, Pa./ Newport, 
R. I..: / Published by John P. Sanborn, / 1879./ 

Note 39, page 326. 

The facts about the first power looms run in New England have been 
collated byBagnall, to whose book the curious reader is referred. 
Peace Dalers are still defending their title to this honor. Vide Gov. 
Royal C. Taft, "Notes on the Woolen Manufacture," page 40. 

Note 40, page 327. 

Yorker pond was the name given to the long, narrow sheet of 
water near Slocum's Corner. A factory is still running (1913) at 
the foot of this pond. The houses standing near this factory form 
the village alluded to — Yorker village. The beautiful Yawgoo pond 
lies northwest of Kingston village, partly in South Kingstown, 
partly in Exeter. It has many pines about it, and a shining white 
sandy floor. 

Note 41, page 344. 

This is a reference to the house still standing at the southerly ramp 
of the Tower Hill ridge, which bears the old village of Tower Hill 
on its saddle, so to speak. The northerly summit is called MacSparran 
Hill. First built as an hotel, its remoteness from the bathing beach 
was thecauseof its rapid decline. Theoriginal builders laid anarrow- 
gauge track and ran cars drawn by mules for the free use of guests. 
It was a slow and dusty ride, mostly uphill. Soon the tracks were 
taken up. For many years President James Burrill Angell, of Ann 
Arbor, Michigan, was the last guest of the season. As the manager 
usually absconded, leaving the servants unpaid, this became a bore, 
and when even the genial Angell gave up his favorite view, the 
house was closed for good. It is now used by the fresh air charity of 
Providence. It has been a hotel, a boarding-house, a colored school 
for training domestic servants, and last of all, a shelter for city 
waifs. It affords a varied and delightful prospect from Gay Head 
on Martha's Vineyard to Montauk Point on Long Island, besides 

[ 402 ] 


giving the nearest and clearest survey of the lovely Point Judith 

Note 42, page 357. 

A good example of the curiously involved style commonly used 
by Shepherd Tom's "brother Joe." He does not mean to allude 
to two men named Totten, although he appears to do so. One can 
usually discover his meaning. 

Note 43, page 358. 

Many buttonwood trees (sycamores) still (1915) adorn the land- 
scape hereabouts. The row of them planted by Rowland Hazard 6 
upon an east and west farm line which passes through Holly House 
are in a good state, though the first crop of leaves is often blighted, 
giving them a ragged look until they have time to leave out a 
second time, sometimes not until July. The tender young leaves 
seem to suffer from the cold Northeasters, whose icy breath shrivels 
and strips them off*. 

Note 44, page 359. 

Ducky. Still a favorite nickname in South Kingstown for popular 

women of agreeable manners and disposition. 

Note 45, page 359. 

' ' As lucky as Jim Phillips ' ' has become a local saying, with which 
Shepherd Tom was clearly familiar. Also a sarcastic use of the epi- 
sode of the ' ' buttonwood limb ' ' occurs, ' ' Luckier 'n Jim Phillips. ' ' 

Note 46, page 361. 

Benny Nichols, father of two sons, both men of strong character, 
who lived their entire lives in Peace Dale, Matthew and Cornelius, 
the latter, like his father, a skilful fisherman. He once hooked a sixty- 
pound striped bass on his hand trolling line baited with an eel- 
skin, and got the big fish over the outer ledge which girdles the best 
stand on Indian Rock. When the suds cleared away, " Corniel," 
as he was oftenest called, could see the big fellow lying in the pool, 
rather spent by his stubborn fight, but likely to be washed out by 
the next big breaker, then about due. Determined not to lose so 
fine a catch, he jumped in and scrambled out again with the strug- 
gling bass in his arms, just in time to escape a breaker which would 
have stunned or killed him. 

[ 403 ] 



A PRETENDED obituary, written by Charles Blake to cari- 
cature the style of Lawyer Ned Hazard. See note, page 210. 

Charles Blake 

"I count myself in nothing else so hafifiy 
As in a soul remembering my good friends. " 

Charles has gone! I was never more stricken than when Payne 
— why isn't he in Congress to-day — said those words to me last 
night. I was hardly able to bear the blow, for I had been till past 
midnight conferring with a client indicted for stealing from his 
mother, a very worthy woman, who has been a domestic upward 
of forty years in the family of Robert Ives, and a more interesting 
case was never before a jury, unless I except that on Crowninshield, 
and all of my readers have heard of Webster's splendid effort in 
behalf of the commonwealth against him. I was present at the time 
and was mute with wonder and delight. I hope some day to write 
an account of it. 

' Why must the good die and we who lament them 
Live beneath the glimfises of the moon?" 

Isn't that from Hamlet, Mr. Editor? Blake could have told me 
— I think I see him now as he used to stand when the fee table was 
unrepealed — and I never knew a law the repeal of which was more 
earnestly demanded for the ends of public justice and the peace of 
the bar than that same fee table. I see him now with this bill in his 
hand presenting it to me as he had often done before with a smile 
that headed off my too ready oath and a sarcasm as subtle as good- 
natured against those needy wretches who, like myself, had more 
brains than money — I use his own words. 

When his office was in the cellar of the Old Court House (When 
are those beautiful speeches of Chief Justice Durfee and my brother 
Payne at the dedication of the New Court House to be published ?) 
he had much trouble with rheumatic pains, and I can recall the look 
of suffering he habitually wore as he mounted the narrow stairs 
leading to the court room until on accidentally meeting me his face 

C 407 3 


■would shine like that of an angel and he would ejaculate, " Oh, you 
good man — " and I think he meant it too. How I wish I was as 
restful about the future state as was Charles. He seemed to have no 
anxiety touching die things 

' 'Beyond the reaches of our souls. ' ' 

George Rivers once told a story of the lamented Truman Beck- 
with that makes me think of my friend Charles. It was in the old 
building that stood at the corner of College and South Main streets 
and there I had an office and around me were the offices of some 
choice spirits, I can tell you. There Rivers, with his brother the 
Doctor, who years afterward did a yeoman's service in the War of 
the Rebellion, and myself have passed many an evening in potations 
pottle deep like so many Tarn o'Shanters till the moon had passed 
in the wee sma' horn's beyond that port of heaven's special land- 

"Dark arch the key stane." 

Shall we ever see the fellows to Burns or Willy Shakespeare ? In 
the autumn of 1842 I made a journey with Ben Curtis, afterward 
the Judge, and Rufus Choate to Washington to see the President 
about the extradition of Governor Dorr from the State of New 
Hampshire. It was a very important matter, and after several hours' 
discussion Choate appeared to weary of it and began to quote Burns. 
Poem after poem he repeated, and on my expressing wonder at the 
retentive power of his memory he told me that he had no poets in 
his library but Burns and Shakespeare. I think he was right, for they 
can fill up any ordinary mind. A man must have great capacity to 
really need such a collection as belonged to that ripe old scholar, 
John Carter Brown, now in heaven. I wonder if the arbutus grows 
in heaven. I love its fragrance better than that of the violet or the 
twisted eglantine or the lush woodbine. Toto ccelo. Oh, those old 
authors, shall we ever equal them ? Hart (I wish I had his concise, 
energetic style of address when I present a case to the Court) was 
there with the two Rivera, and Philip Crapo had just gone over the 
way to Stimson and Hodges', purveyors of the best of potables. I 
wish I had space to tell my younger readers about Crapo. Rivera said 
that a poor cripple had just been into an insurance office near by 
and had presented a subscription paper to Beckwith, who sat there 

[ 408 ] 


with a numberof substantial citizens. " Why don't you work ? "tes- 
tily asked Beckwith. "I am too weak," said the man. "I broke my 
leg and have been laid up in the hospital a month." Beckwith in- 
stantly replied : "That's no reason for begging. I once broke my 
leg and was laid up two months, and nobody went around with a 
subscription paper for me. ' ' This retort was unanswerable and the 
man slunk away in shame. Rivers said he could never forget the 
austere majesty that marked the features of the high-minded re- 
prover. Charles was just as apt in some of his replies when asked to 
do anything to which he was averse. Possibly he had a tongue at 
times somewhat too tart, for it was he that made the distinction be- 
tween lawyers and attorneys which made such acrimonious feeling 
against him at the bar a few years ago. I confess I shared it at the 
time, but not now. 

Earl C. Harris was then in full practice, with a future before 
him, but he has since left the bar "to darkness and to me." There 
were giants in those days. We had no colored lawyers then. 

It was in the autumn of 1852 I first became acquainted with 
Charles Blake, or Charley as he was then called. I wonder if he is 
called Charley where he is now. I had just concluded a speech in 
the House of Representatives in answer to Gen. Carpenter and was 
struck by the rapt attention of a youthful face of marked intelli- 
gence. I was so much interested in the appearance of the young man 
that I went into the lobby and introduced myself to him. Then I 
learned that he was the son of my old friend, Joseph M. Blake, of 
Bristol, the Nestor of the Rhode Island Bar, and that he had just 
entered Brown University. From that time our intercourse increased 
until at the time of his death we had become 

" Cou/iled and inseparable like Juno's swans." 

In all his troubles his unvarying resort for advice and sympathy 
was to me, and thus I had the best opportunity for seeing his inner 
life, and I can say with perfect sincerity that I wish every one who 
had gone before had as guileless a heart as my departed friend and 
was as fit for the journey. I had had similar confidential relations 
with William Sanford, who, too, has passed away on " that black 
camel that kneeleth once at each man's door." I had befriended him, 
too, and how grateful he was ! Poor William ! Strange that a man 

C 409 ] 


will put an enemy within his mouth to take away his brains. A flood 
of recollections overwhelm me, called forth by the mention of San- 
ford's name. I could fill your paper with them did I not put a bridle 
to my inclinations, but I will tax your patience no longer. I am 
hardly fit to write to-day. 

So Charles has gone. Many will say to-day, "We could have bet- 
ter spared a better man. ' ' How we all drop like leaves by the wayside. 
Oh, my God, my God ! 

C 410 ] 




Aaron, Tom, 314, 318. 

Abbey, Old, 161, 182. 

Abe, 61, 67, 85, 88, 219,240, 

260, 303,352, 364, 382. 
Abram, 304. 
Adams, John, 232, 236. 
Addison, 138. 
Aldrich, Dr., 64, 145, 148, 

Alexander, 37, 330. 
Allen, Mr., 267. 
Allen, Ned, 263,266. 
Allen, Pete, 220. 
Allen, Sheriff Sam, 1 14. 
Almira, 57. 
Almy, Christopher, 43. 
Almy, Slater & Brown, 43. 
Almy, William, 43. 
Amboy, 101. 
Ammidon, Mi's., 177. 
Ammidon, Elder, 173, 176. 
Ammon, George, 318. 
Anthony, 198, 350. 
Anthony, L.D., 298. 
Antigua, 170. 
Aplin, Lawyer Joe, 112, 162, 

Apple dumplings, 108. 
Apple Tree Plain, 8 1 . 
Aquidneck, 340. 
Arabia, 211. 
Arlington, Jim, 120. 
Armstrong, Nat, 274. 
Arnold, Hon. S. G., 270. 

[ 41 

Arnold Tavern, 277. 
Assyria, 89, 104, 211. 

Babcock, Adam, 247. 
Babcock, Mr., 343. 
Babcock, Rowse, 171. 
Babcock, Silas, 274. 
Babcock, Mrs. Silas, 274, 297. 
Baldface, Old, 59. 
Barber, Charles P., 137. 
Barber, William, 311. 
Barker, Charles, 161,247,292. 
Barker, Charles, Jr. , 162. 
Barlow, Joel, 17. 
Barnum, 265. 
Barton's wharf, 269, 302. 
Beaver Tail, 376. 
Belcher, Simon, 25 8. 
Bergh, Henry, 192. 
Biddy, 74. 

Billington, Bob, 78, 80. 
Blake, Hon. Joseph M., 2 10. 
Blue Point, 38. 
Blue Rocks, 259. 
Bologna, 69. 

Bonaparte, 62,155, 219, 331. 
Boose, Sharper, 228. 
Boot Jack, 162. 
Boss, Jabe, 248. 
Boss, Peter, 293. 
Boston brown bread, 17, 28. 
Boston Common, 161. 
Boston Neck, 208, 315, 319, 
321, 326, 337, 346, 360. 


Boston Neck Road, 360. 
Bourns, Lawyer, 162. 
Bowler farm, 103, 155. 
Bowler, Mr., 90, 211. 
Bowne, Robert, 358. 
Boylston street, 187. 
Brayton, Gen. Chas. R., 36, 

Bridge street, Newport, 269. 
Bristol, 111, 210. 
Bristol, Pa., 301, 345. 
Brit, Old, 190,231,237,248, 

British Minister, 134. 
Broad street, Newport, 43. 
Brown, Corporal, 175. 
Brown, Cracker, 161. 
Brown, Deacon, 118. 
Brown , Ducky ,359. 
Brown, Gov. George, 208, 320. 
Brown, Misses, 315. 
Brown, Mr., 171, 179,281, 

Brown, Nick, 381. 
Brown , Rowland ,323. 
Brown, Sally, 119. 
Brown, Tim, 230. 
Brown, Widow, 20, 201. 
Brown's Brook, 35 6. 
Buffum, David, 45, 262. 
Buffum, Bishop David, 2 62. 
Buffum, Thomas, 262. 
Bullock, John, 199. 
Burnside, Senator, 106. 
Byron, 25, 123. 

Cesar, 179. 
Caesar, Julius, 219. 

C 41 

Caesar's Plain, 179. 

Canonchet, 154, 176. 

Canton, 184. 

Carpenter, Ann, 42.. 

Carpenter, Rodman, 349. 

Carr, Green, 262,266. 

Carter, Bill, 333. 

Carter, William, 179. 

Carter's gibbet, 315. 

Case, Jim, 301. 

Case, Squire, 301. 

Cat Inspector, 285, 295. 

Cervantes, 112. 

Chambo, Old, 363 (vide Ro- 

chambeau, 92). 
Champlin house, 324. 
Champlin, Kit, 311. 
Champlin, Squire, 119. 
Champlin, Stephen, 169, 183, 

Champlin, Thomas, 183. 
Chandler, Wm. H., 283. 
Charlestown, 58, 185, 311, 

321, 340, 342. 
Charlestown tribe, 342. 
Chase, Constant, 103. 
Chase, Herbert, 103. 
Chase, Isaac, 90, 103. 
Chase, Stephen A., 304. 
Chausan, Capt. Green, 90. 
Chesapeake Bay, 38, 77. 
Chimney Hill, 180. 
Chipuxet river, 1 1 8, 1 79. 
Cincinnati, 5 5. 
Clamtown, 37. 
Clark, 155. 
Clark, Judge, 165. 
Clarke, John, 271. 

4 j 


Clarke, Lewis, 64, 65, 69. 

Clarke, Lewis Latham, 64, 185. 

Clark's mill, 2 1 . 

Clinton, General, 101. 

Clytus, 179. 

Coates, Saunders, 77, 153. 

Cochituate, 307. 

Cockermouth, 125. 

Columbia Corner, 344. 

Comstock, Charles, 137, 152, 
157, 183, 186, 194, 228, 
237, 241, 245, 248, 252, 
256, 266, 284, 289, 293. 

Comstock, Christopher, 158. 

Conanicut, 133, 138,269,335. 

Conanicut Ferry, 383. 

Congdon, George, 274. 

Congdon, Joseph, 274. 

Connecticut, 94, 146, 175. 

Conner, Capt., 275. 

Continental Congress, 99. 

Cook (the hatter), 112, 158, 
183, 194,257,259,289. 


Coon's mill, 19, 172. 

Corey, Dick, 249, 343. 

Cork, John, 312, 318. 

Corn biscuit, 6 1 . 

Cottrell, Abel, 112. 

Cove, Old, 31, 38. 

Coy, Samuel, 160. 

Croesus, 146. 

Crooked Brook, 35 6. 

Crumb, Timothy, 119. 

Crutch, William, 43. 

Cuba, 186. 

Cubit hill, 229. 

Cupid hill, 229. 


Curtis' corner, 146. 
Cussum, Rev. Dr. ,101. 

Danielson, 198. 

Dealing, 179. 

Delaware river, 301. 

Democritus, 113. 

Dennison, Consul, 265. 

Devil's Ring, 250. 

Dexter, Lord Timothy, 186. 

Dickens, Mr., 330. 

Dixon, Nathan F., 144, 162. 

Dobbs, Mary, 170. 

Dockray Common, John, 237. 

Dockray corner, 230. 

Dockray, John, 64, 230, 293. 

Dockray, John Bigelow, 230, 

Dodge, Mr., 32 6. 
Dorothy, Aunt, 155. 
Dorothy's Hollow, 155. 
Douglass, George, 291. 
Douglass, Stephen, 293. 
Duke street, Newport, 2 69. 
Dunlap, Count (or Baron) , 34 1 . 
Dunn, Dr., 35 7. 
Durfee, 113. 
Dyer's run, Mrs. 300. 
Dyre, Col., 361. 

East Greenwich, 35, 93, 254, 

East Grinnage, 42, 272, 279, 

281, 315. 
East Indies, 183. 
Eden, Garden of, 89, 104. 
Elam, Samuel, 209, 211. 
Ellery, William, 92. 

15 1 


Enfield, Conn., 80. 
England, 26,125. 
Esther, Queen, 2 1 7, 342. 
Euphrates, 89, 104. 
Exeter, 113. 

Fall River, Mass., 326. 
Falstaff, Jack, 38, 64. 
Fayette, Markis, 363. 
Feke, Charley, 2 67. 
Fenner, Governor, 1 15, 275, 

Fenner, Gov. Arthur, 298. 
Fenner, Gov. (2nd), 274. 
Ferrisburg, Vt. , 353. 
Ferry wharf, Newport, 21,41, 

Fielding, 112. 
Fish, 35 3. 

Fishback, Capt., 185. 
Flat-iron, 29. 
Flat Rock, 312,372. 
Foddering Place, 345. 
Forbes Co., Boston, 198, 

Fort Ticonderoga, 341 . 
Foster, Mr., 321. 
Four Corners, 165. 
Fox, George, 4 1 . 
Frank, 133. 
Franklin, Ben, 15 6, 181,234, 

239, 301. 
Franklin's Ferry, 135, 383. 
Frayer, Capt. ,319. 
Freehold, 101. 
French, Cyrus, 112, 140. 
French, Mr., 294. 
French, Squire, 291. 

C 41 

French, William, 1 40, 1 5 8 , 

Friar, Quaker, 64, 69, 185. 

Gano, Master, 322, 323. 
Gardiner, Bill, 218. 
Gardiner, Bristor, 349. 
Gardiner, Col. ,315. 
Gardiner, Elisha, 112,115,265, 

Gardiner, Ezekiel, 134. 
Gardiner, Nurse, 54. 
Gardiner, Paris, 232, 248. 
Gardiner, Peleg, 64, 1 34. 
Gardiner, Squire, 291. 
Gardner, Sheriff, 117. 
Garner, 'Lisha, 138, 152, 158, 

183, 195,252,256,258. 
Garner, Paris, 249, 2 5 1 . 
Gavitt, Daniel, 241. 
Gavitt-town, 241. 
Genesee, 121. 
Genesee run, 253. 
Genesee swamp, 248, 25 6. 
Genesee woods, 248. 
George (son of Queen Esther) , 

George, King, 342. 
Georgia, 170, 178. 
Goddard, Thomas, 35 3. 
Gooseberry Island, 180, 254. 
Gould, Adam, 252, 256, 295. 
Gould, Artemus, 25 1 , 325. 
Gould, John, 231. 
Gould, Miss, 231. 
Gould, Tom, 218. 
Grafton, Mass., 141. 
Grant, 62. 



Gravelly Point, 326. 

Gray, Billy, 183, 186, 194, 

Great Pond, 245,253. 
Greene, Gen. Albert C, 280. 
Greene, Gen. Nathanael, 35, 

Greene, Stephen, 1 60. 
Greenman, Mrs. Silas, 319. 
Grenman, Gid, 231. 
Grennold, Jim, 314. 
Grennold,Mr., 325. 
Grinage flats, 37. 
Grinnage, 37,111, 161, 183, 

272,277,281, 373. 
Grinnager, 35, 37, 40, 45, 72, 

Grinnold, Sal, 278. 
Griswold , Tom ,58. 
Guinea, 18, 59, 83, 85, 307. 
Guinea, Old, 228. 
Gulf Stream, 49, 72, 89, 102, 

202,212,275, 374. 

Hadwen, Benjamin, 77. 
Hagadorn, John, 158,161,163, 

Hammond, Capt. , 1 70. 
Hammond's Mill, 18, 21, 23, 

Hardscrabble, 190, 215, 232, 

Hartford, Conn. ,121. 
Have Nothings, 79. 
Have Somethings, 79. 
Hazard, 89. 
Hazard, Anna, 107. 
Hazard, Benjamin, 149. 

C 41 

Hazard, Carder, 345. 

Hazard, Edward, 230. 

Hazard, Ephe, 66. 

Hazard , George, 167, 352. 

Hazard, Gust, 80. 

Hazard, Isaac, 259, 274, 277, 
301, 341, 359. 

Hazard, Jeffrey, 1 69. 

Hazard, John, 165. 

Hazard, Jonathan J., 100, 203. 

Hazard, Jonathan N., 247, 307, 

Hazard, Joseph P., 76, 80, 1 18, 
326, 332, 335, 337, 341, 
343, 348, 356, 358, 360, 

Hazard, Miss, 133. 

Hazard, Mr., 341. 

Hazard, Molly, 342, 364, 356. 

Hazard, Nailer Tom, 1 89, 25 1 
(see Hazard, Thomas B.). 

Hazard, Ned, 2 30, 298. 

Hazard, Pistol-head Tom, 189. 

Hazard, Robert, 337, 352. 

Hazard, Rowland, 64, 159, 169, 
304, 321,341. 

Hazard, Rowland (nephew), 

Hazard, Dr. R. R., 77. 

Hazard, Shepherd Tom, 90, 
148, 156, 189, 217, 244, 
246, 249, 270, 283, 302, 
307, 317, 322, 324, 331, 
362, 387 (see also Hazard, 
Thomas R.). 

Hazard, Sim, 1 73. 

Hazard, Simeon, 167. 

7 3 


Hazard, Simeon, Jr. , 167. 
Hazard, Sylvester, 164, 290, 

Hazard, Sylvester R., 77. 
Hazard, Thomas, 271. 
Hazard, Thomas B. (Nailer 

Tom), 170,251, 324, 346, 

Hazard, Thomas B., Jr., 

Hazard, Thomas G., 338. 
Hazard, Thomas H., 77. 
Hazard, Thomas R., 31, 203, 

219,221,228,246, 268 (see 

Hazard, Shepherd Tom). 
Hazard, Tom, 189. 
Hazard's Castle, 304, 338. 
Helme, James, 131, 165, 290, 

Helme, James, Jr., 295. 
Helme, J. P., 112. 
Helme, Judge, 132. 
Helme, Samuel, 131. 
Hill pasture, 155. 
Hill ponds, 351. 
Hills, The, 245. 
Hindoostan, 170. 
Hoag, Joseph, 353. 
Hogarth, 47, 327. 
Holburton, Harry, 253. 
Holburton's mill, 2 5 3. 
Holden, Sammy, 367. 
Holden,the Odd, 370. 
Holland, 142. 
Homer, 25, 123. 
Hopkins, Dr., 92. 
Hopkins, Parson, 92. 
Hopkins rock, 340. 

E 41 

Hopkinton, 171, 347. 
Hopkinton City, 15 8, 258. 
H' Oswald, Richard, 234. 
Howard, Gov., 199,204, 221, 

Howard, ex-Gov. Henry, 

Howard, ex-Gov., 283. 
Howard street, Newport, 169. 
Howe, Lord, 99, 101. 
Howell, Judge, 162. 
Huckleberry, 102. 
Hudson river, 269. 
Hull, Benjamin, 145. 
Hull, Miss, 181. 
Hull, Mr., 307. 
Humber river, 2 6. 
Hunter, William, 134, 260. 
Hyperion, 68, 15 7. 

Indian corn, 58. 
Indian no-cake, 5 7. 
Indian Rock, 373. 
Indian Run, 352, 356. 

Jackson, 179, 315. 

Jackson, President, 325. 

Jamaica, 185. 

Jay, John, 234. 

Jeffers, 248. 

Jefferson, Thomas, 233, 236, 

Jenkins, Anne Almy, 43. 
Jim, 155. 
Job, 47. 
Joe, 174,176. 
Jonah, 135. 
Jonny Cake 18,28, 40. 

8 ] 


Kelley, 170. 
Kelly, Master, 65, 322. 
Kent county, 35, 272, 315. 
Kenyon, Gardiner, 334. 
Kenyon, Squire, 313. 
Kenyon, William, 342. 
Key, Mr., 200, 283. 
Key, Postmaster-Gen., 228. 
Kidd, Captain, 251, 324. 
Kidd, Robert (Wm.?), 32 5. 
Kings county, 202, 254. 
Kingston, 1 12, 119, 159, 182, 

324, 347. 
Kingston Hill, 138. 
Kingston village, 327. 
Kingstown, Jamaica, 186. 
King Tom, 341. 
Kit's pond, 345. 
Knowles, 198. 
Knowles, Hazard, 335, 360. 
Knowles, Jim, 121, 242. 
Knowles, Robert, 361. 

L.,Mr., 104. 
Lafayette, Marquis, 9 1 . 
Lamming, John, 1 64. 
Lamphear, 32 1 . 
Larkin, Mr., 329. 
Laurens, Henry, 234. 
Lawton's Valley, 271. 
Lebanon, Conn., 32, 100. 
Lee, Gen., 101, 130. 
Lewis, Enoch, 344. 
Lewis, Smith, 314. 
Liebig, 159. 

Liestrong, Capt., 183, 186. 
Lightfoot, Judge, 364. 
Lind, Jenny, 83. 

Lipton, 178. 

Little Neck, 340, 358. 

Little Neck farm, 77, 360. 

Little Neck Tom, 77. 

Little Rest, 1 1 1,1 12, 1 15, 131, 
272,287,293, 313, 320. 

Little Rest Hill, 65, 114, 150. 

London, 42, 91, 138, 184. 

Longfellow, 123. 

Long Island, 78. 

Long Island Sound, 319. 

Long Wharf, 263. 

Louis XV, 65, 185. 

Lunt, Major, 130, 293. 

Lunt, William, 117. 

Lyman, 327. 

Marlboro street, Newport, 

MacSparran, Dr., 226. 
Margaret,40, 69, 110,260,306, 

365, 382. 
Mary Magdalene, 48. 
Mason and Dixon's Line, 52. 
Mather, Cotton, 212. 
Matoonak, 343. 
Matooneck, 18 1. 
Matoonek, 229, 293. 
Mauney, 338. 
Mayberry, Free, 263, 266. 
Mercer, Dr., 105. 
Methuselah, 47. 
Middletown, N. J., 170. 
Mill, Old Forge,35,37,40, 161. 

C 419 ] 


Mill street, Newport, 269. 
Ministerial woods, 161, 245. 
Minturn, 321. 
Money, Mr., 276. 
Monmouth, 1 30. 
Monmouth county, 101. 
Mose, 83,379, 381. 
Moses, 85. 
Mont Blanc, 42. 
Mount, Samuel, 170. 
Mount, Thomas, 169, 172, 178, 

Muffins, 109. 

Mumford, Benjamin, 226. 
Mumford, Nat, 154. 
Mumford's Mill, 19, 21, 161, 

Mumford, Miss, 154. 
Mumford, Mrs. Hannah, 226. 
Muscovado sugar, 53. 

Nantucket, 289. 

Naples, 193. 

Narragansett, 20,25,57,65,71, 
76, 79, 82, 85, 88, 91, 95, 
122,134,140,152,156, 160, 
332, 336, 339, 341, 343. 

Narragansett Bay, 38, 45, 3 19, 
337, 358. 

Narragansett Co., 111. 

Narragansett Indians, 58, 217, 
254, 338. 

Narragansett Pier, 32, 78, 1 76, 
304, 307, 359. 

NarragansettPierRailroad ,248. 

Narrow Cove, 254. 

Narrow river, 77, 208, 304, 

315, 340, 359. 
Nash, Mrs., 180. 
Nash, Widow, 180. 
New Bedford, Mass., 149, 248, 

Newberry, Jim, 347. 
New Brunswick, 101. 
Newell, William P., 144, 149. 
New England, 50, 58. 
New Guinea, 195. 
New Haven, Conn., 17. 
New Light Church, 172, 190. 
New London, Conn., 98, 289, 

293, 363. 
New London Co., Conn., 98, 

New Orleans, 105. 
Newport, 20,32,42, 71 , 77,90, 

93,103, 110, 134, 137,140, 


271, 273, 307, 325, 357. 
Newport Mercury, 322. 
Newton, 201. 
New York, 42, 55, 71, 74, 91, 


Nichols, Benny, 361. 
Nichols, John, 160. 
Nichols, John T., 143. 
Nichols, Miss, 301. 
Nicobar, 186. 
Nicobar, Great, 184. 
Nicobar Islands, 183. 
Niles House, 324. 
Niles, Major Jeremy, 156. 
Niles, Mr., 324. 
Noah's ark, 59. 

C 420 2 


No-cake, 58. 
Noka, John, 338. 
Nooseneck Hill, 279. 
North Carolina, 180. 
North Kingston, 161. 
North Kingstown, 202, 366. 
North Narragansett Pier pond, 

North Pier, 77, 372. 
North Scituate, 283. 
Northup, Elder, 120, 172, 177. 
Northup, S., 321. 
Notre Dame, 79. 
Nova Scotia, 178. 
Noyes, Robert, 300. 

O'Brien, Patrick, 207. 
Old Kingston road, 341. 

Parade, The, 42. 

Parade street, Newport, 263. 

Paris, 42, 79, 234,265. 

Patrick, 46. 

Patten, Wm. S.,23. 

Patten , Mrs . Wm . S . , 2 3 . 

Pawcatuck Bridge, 144, 162, 

Pawcatuck river, 253. 
Peace Dale, 20, 81, 154, 169, 

188, 190, 201, 250, 314, 

324, 326, 328, 343, 346, 

356, 359, 361. 
Peace Dale mills, 328. 
Peckham, Nathaniel C, 142. 
Peckham, Hon. Nathaniel, 1 72. 
Peckham, Timothy, 142. 
Peckham, Quaker William, 


C 42 

Peckham, William, Jr., 229. 

Pedler, 82. 

Peggy, 123. 

Pennsylvania, 98. 

Pentateuch, 85. 

Perry, Chas. Grant, 357. 

Perry, Christopher Raymond, 

Perry, Commodore, 264, 343. 
Perry, Commodore Oliver H., 

229, 301, 320. 
Perry, Hazard, 229. 
Perry, John, 320. 
Perry, John (Town Clerk), 

Perry, Rit, 15 6. 
Perry, Robinson, 320. 
Persian Gulf, 89. 
Pettaquamscutt, 25, 315, 321, 

Pettaquamscutt Cove, 154,180, 

254, 358. 
Pettaquamscutt pond, 18. 
Pettaquamscutt river, 76, 180, 

208, 226, 315, 341, 358. 
Philadelphia, 5 5, 99, 101 , 146, 

Phillips, Capt., 93. 
Phillips, Jim, 359, 379. 
Phillis, 18,83,216. 
Pickerel Point, 35 6. 
Pint Judy, 59, 156, 231,274, 

373, 378. 
Pint Judy Pint, 306, 376. 
Point Judith, 77, 305, 313, 

319, 323, 334, 337, 345, 

356, 358, 360, 364. 

i 3 


Point Judith Road, 360. 
Point Judith salt pond, 142. 
Point, The, Newport, 180,263, 

303, 352. 
Pollock, Wilson, 194. 
Pomfret, Conn., 174. 
Pomp, 60, 62, 67, 83,351. 
Porridge, 55. 
Portorique molasses, 53. 
Portsmouth, 4 1 ,43,89,9 1 ,271 , 

Portsmouth Grove, 44. 
Post Road, 239, 301. 
Potowomut, 35. 
Potter, Asa, 158. 
Potter, Elisha, 293. 
Potter, ElishaR., 82, 140, 149, 

153, 158,298,326, 338. 
Potter, Eliza, 158. 
Potter, E. R., 112, 114. 
Potter, James, 338. 
Potter, James M.B., 149. 
Potter, John, 289. 
Potter, Gov. John, 241,310. 
Potter, Joseph, 171. 
Potter, Judge, 133, 149. 
Potter, Julia, 158. 
Potter, Kit, 89. 
Potter, Maria, 15 8. 
Potter, Squire, 207, 299. 
Potter, Thomas, 340. 
Potter, Dr. Thomas, 149. 
Potter, Tom, 113, 145. 
Potter, Judge Wm. ,161, 182. 
Potter, Lawyer William, 149. 
Potter's Hill, 138. 
Potter's pond, 310. 
Prescott, Capt.,341. 

f 42 

Providence, 24, 111, 140, 159, 
315, 327. 

Providence river, 38. 

Quaker Bishop (Buffum, 

David), 45. 
Quaker Hill, 43. 
Queen Anne, 138. 
Queen Esther, 342. 
Quincy, Josiah, 306. 
Quincy, Judith, 307. 

Ram Island, 345. 
Randolph, Kidder, 357. 
Red Bank, 341. 
Reynolds, Joe, 138, 140, 142, 

Reynolds, John, 140. 
Rhinebeck, N.Y., 158. 
Rhineinjun bread, 213. 
R. I. greening, 90, 173, 

R. I. Historical Society, 23, 

R. I. Jonny-cake, 199. 
Rice pudding, 108. 
Richmond, 311. 
R. I. turkey, 72. 
Ridge, Master, 65, 322. 
Robbins, Hon. Asher, 206. 
Robinson, Amy, 358. 
Robinson, A tmore, 153. 
Robinson, Ben, 154. 
Robinson, Christopher, 308, 

313, 345. 
Robinson, Edward, 153. 
Robinson, Hannah, 322. 


Robinson, James, 153,156,322, 

Robinson, Mrs. James, 323. 
Robinson, John, 64, 307. 
Robinson, Kit, 155, 231. 
Robinson, Prince, 117. 
Robinson, Rowland, 9 1 . 
Robinson, Sally, 261. 
Robinson, Sci, 261 . 
Robinson, Sylvester, 175, 294, 

308, 342, 364. 
Robinson, Mrs. Sylvester, 176. 
Robinson, Thomas, 261, 352, 

Robinson, Gov. Wm., 307, 372. 
Robinson, Gov. Wm. R., 342. 
Robinson, William, 153. 
Robinson's wharf, 352. 
Rochambeau, Count, 92. 
Rochester, 179. 
Rocky Brook, 77, 143, 153, 

188,249, 356. 
Rodman, Benny, 20, 15 7, 201, 

Rodman, Capt. Bill, 141. 
Rodman, Clarke, 167, 262. 
Rodman, Sam, 153. 
Rodman, Tom, 242, 245. 
Rodman House, 349. 
Rodman's Mill, 154,201. 
Romain, Parson, 239. 
Rome, 193. 
Rotch, Benjamin, 350. 
Rotch, Wm. B.,350. 
Runnells, Joe, 140, 142, 149, 


Rush, Dr., 146,214. 

St. Peter's, Rome, 42. 

Saddle Rock, N.Y., 38. 

Sal, 218. 

Salem, 161. 

Salt Pond, 76, 310, 350, 356, 

Sam, 84, 156,207. 
Samp, 5 7. 

Sanborn, John H., 322. 
Sancho Panza, 38, 79. 
Sandy Hook, 101. 
Sangrado,Dr., 144, 243. 
Satyr, 68, 15 7. 
Saucatucket, 24, 15 7. 
Saucatucket river, 356. 
Saunders, Capt. JohnH., 326. 
Schooner, Sally, 172. 
Scip, 62, 68, 83. 
Schuylkill, 99. 
Scott, 112. 
Scribbins, 26, 238. 
Sea Side, 77, 304, 372. 
Sea Side farm, 304, 318, 338, 

Senegambia, 18. 
Seine, 79. 
Shakespeare, 134. 
Shakespeare, Will, 236, 363. 
Shaw, Friend, 43. 
Shaw, Jim, 263,266. 
Shays Rebellion, 141. 
Shelter Island, 274. 
Shepherd Tom (Hazard), 90, 

Sherman, James, 202, 341 . 
Sherman, Job, 42. 
Sherman, John, 341. 
Sherman, Pedro, 189. 

C 423 H 


Sherman, Robert, 138. 

Sherman & Town, 366. 

Sherman to wn ,202. 

Shrewsbury, 38. 

Silver Lake, 345. 

Slaughter, Master, 65. 

Slauter, Master, 322. 

Slocum's corner, 179. 

Smith, Jim, 254. 

Smith, John, 333. 

Smith, Sol, 5 6. 

Smollett, 112. 

Snuff mill-pond, 346. 

Solon, 286. 

Sot's Hole, 245. 

South County, 37, 117, 132, 

146, 153,202, 215. 
South Co. Agric. Society, 159. 
South Ferry, 41,134,138,157, 

159, 181,301,337. 
South Pier, 340, 372, 378. 
South Pole, 157. 
South Portsmouth, 200, 228. 
Sprague estate, Gov., 176, 322. 
Sprague Folly, Gov., 364. 
Sprague, Mrs. Kate Chase, 

Stang, Admirable, 363. 
Stanton, William, 171. 
Stanton, Mrs. Wm., 172. 
Staunton, Lodowick, 185. 
Stead man, Asa, 333. 
Stedlar, Mr., 52. 
Stedlar,Mrs., 53. 
Stedman, Asa, 156. 
Steele, 138. 
Stewart, 204. 
Stonington, Conn., 171, 179. 

Storer, Benjamin, 114, 130, 

Storer, Hannah, 115, 118. 
Stover, Old, 161. 
Stuart, Gilbert, 18, 226, 321, 

Stuart, Jane, 225. 
Styles, Rev. Ezra, 92. 
Sugar Loaf Hill, 230, 298. 
Sukarata, Queen, 1 84. 
Suke, 218. 
Sweet, Job, 230. 
Sweet, Job, Jr., 230. 
Sweet, Jonathan, 230. 
Sweet, William, 230. 
Sweet family, 334. 
Sykes, Jim, 129. 
Symmes' Hole, 157. 
Syms, Jim, 25 6. 

Tallman sweetings, 73, 9 1 . 
Tarrant, Col., 357. 
Taylor, John N., 138. 
Taylor, Philip, 138. 
Taylor, Thomas S., 158, 249. 
Tefft, Jim, 333. 
Tefft's Hill, 248,251. 
Thames street, 41,265,259. 
Themillboy, 59. 
Thurston , Gov . , 158. 
Tiber, 79. 

Tierney, Admiral De, 92. 
Tigris, 89,104. 
Titian, 69. 
Tiverton, 113, 161. 
Tontine Coffee House, 7 1 . 
Tory, Sylvia, 161,247. 
Tory, Cuff, 208. 

C 424 ] 


Totten, Col., 357. 
Totten, Levi, 161, 162. 
Totten, Squire Levi, 258. 
Tower Hill, 20, 43, 89, 95, 

111, 131, 145, 155,180, 

188, 201,208,239, 300, 

Tower Hill House, 76, 344. 
Tower's school, 262. 
Trinity Church, 42. 
Truman, 129. 
Trumbull, Gov. Jonathan, 32, 

Tucker, Joshua, 246. 
Tucker, Nathan, 245. 
Tucker, William, 193. 
Tucker family, 334. 
Tucker's pond, 245. 
Tuckertown ,245. 
Turkle, Mr. , 164. 
Turner, Daniel, 264. 

Updike, Daniel E. , 9 3 , 2 5 4 , 

Updike's History of Narragan- 

sett Church, 226. 
Updike, Hon. Wilkins, 157, 


Valley Forge, 99, 170, 203. 
Vaucluse, 89, 103, 200, 211, 

Vaughn's corner, Newport, 

Venice, 69. 
Virgil, 134. 
Virginia, 51, 180. 
Voluntown, 171. 

Waite, Matthew, 1 12, 1 15, 

Wakefield, 19, 172, 180, 251, 

309, 344, 349. 
Walkins, 5 1 . 
Walton, Isaac, 30 1 . 
Ward, Artemus, 325. 
Warmsley, James, 341. 
Warner, Mr., 329. 
Warrick, 37. 
Warricker, 45. 
Warwick, 37. 
Washburne, Elder, 190. 
Washington, 1 18, 131. 
Washington, Gen., 32, 35, 91, 

99, 101,117,226,293. 
Washington, R. I. ,97, 100. 
Washington Square, Newport, 

Washington street, 187. 
Watson, Capt. Guy, 1 50. 
Watson, Guy, 341. 
Watson, John, 319. 
Watson, John Hazard, 169, 

179, 182. 
Watson, Ned, 208. 
Watson's Pier, John, 319. 
Watson's shop, 313. 
Weeden, Mrs., 360. 
Wells, Thomas R., 158. 
West Chester Co., Pa., 199, 

Westerly, 144, 181. 
West Grinnage, 278. 
Westtown Friends Boarding 

School, 199, 302. 
West Town, Pa., 345. 
Whaley, Capt. Jeremiah, 78. 


Whally, 321. 
Whitemarsh, 99. 
Whitman, Jonathan, 140. 
Whitpot, 6 1 . 
Wickford, 37,93,254. 
Wickham, Mr., 170. 
Wickham, Suky, 262. 
Wilcox, 169. 
Wilcox, Judge, 114. 
Wilcox, Sally, 188. 
Wilkinson, Jemima, 1 60, 1 82. 
Willard, 113. 
Willets, Francis, 322. 
Williams, Capt., 305. 
Williams, James, 171. 
Williams, John, 360. 
Williams, Roger, 270. 

Williams, Thomas, 360. 
Williams , Thomas R . , 9 5 , 3 2 6 . 
Will's Coffee House, 138,363. 
Wilson, Capt. Bill, 315. 
Wilson, Jim, 251. 
Wilson, Miss Jinny, 146. 
Wilson woods, 249, 343. 
Windham, Conn. ,361. 
Wiseman, Willie, 303. 
Wolf Bog, 346. 
Worden's pond, 245, 253. 

Yawgoo, 327. 
Yorker, 327. 
Yorktown, 101. 

Zachary's bridge, 254. 

c 426 n 

List of Subscribers 

List of Subscribers 

John O. Ames 
Benjamin Barker 
Mrs. George L. Bradley 
J. B. Branch 
William P. Buffiim 
Edward Carrington 
Lewis L. Clarke 
S. P. Colt 

J. Winthrop DeWolf 
William P. Dixon 
R. H. I. Goddard 
R. H. I. Goddard, Jr. 
O. C. Goodwin 
William P. Goodwin 
Miss Caroline Hazard 
F. R. Hazard 
Isaac P. Hazard 
J. G. Hazard 
Rowland Hazard 
R. G. Hazard 
T. G. Hazard, Jr. 
W. A. Hazard 
William D. Hoxie 
W. R. Innis 
Norman M. Isham 
Alba B. Johnson 
C. D. Kimball 
Webster Knight 
T. F. I. McDonnell 
S. O. Metcalf 
Harrison S. Morris 
Dr. William H. Nichols 


New York 





New York 



New York 



Peace Dale 


Peace Dale 




Peace Dale 

Peace Dale 

Narragansett Pier 

New York 

New York 

New York 








New York 

C 429 n 


Harold Peirce Haverford 

Arthur Perry Boston 

Charles Perry Westerly 

Miss Ellen D. Sharpe Providence 

William P. Sheffield Newport 

Rev. Roderick Terry Newport 

Mrs. William B.Weeden Providence 

L. Stuart Wing New York 

William Woodward New York 

Of this edition six hundred copies have been printed 
on French hand-made paper for the subscribers, and 
six hundred additional copies on antique wove 
paper for general distribution, by D. B. Updike 
The Merrymount Press, Boston, September, 1915 

H 13*89'** 


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